Vintersea – Woven into Ashes (M-Theory Audio)

Wednesday, 3rd May 2023
Rating: 9/10

Vintersea made a name for themselves within more extreme circles with their previous two releases (most notably 2019’s Illuminated) by doing an absolutely eloquent job of genre-mashing. For such a young act, they were able to really blend elements of melodic death, black, prog, and more into something that sounded succinct and striving towards a goal. While some songs were a little longer, they never veered into meandering territory, keeping the focus on what works for the song. As their newest album, Woven into Ashes needs only to see them continue to step up their game. Something Vintersea is more than capably handling.

With the proggy genre-meld already flexing its muscles in the past, giving the band a more unique sound to build off of, it really is just a matter of tweaking and improving the formula. Vintersea tackle it all in spades, this time giving the compositions even more sweeping contrasts and larger than life feelings to accompany them. “Parallel Duality” features all of the playful, proggy goodness you’d expect, alongside a solid dose of melodic gloominess and black metal. It’s on the more melodic side most of the time, but later blastbeats drive home the message quite hard as the song tilts into a climax. Follow up “Lonely Tide” moves between lush acoustic melodies and blackened swirls of anger in just the right amounts to keep you on your toes. On the more furious side, “At the Gloaming Void” captures all the right aspects of the black/death movement, complete with majestic sounding melodies and showcases all facets of Avienne Low’s vocal range from glorious cleans to rasps to bellowing roars. To contrast fury, the closing track, “No Tomorrow,” sees Vintersea doling out the gloom of their Pacific Northwest peers while keeping the progressive tendencies flowing. A melancholic yet soaring finale that really sees the band at their best.

Woven into Ashes sees Vintersea continuing to hunger in terms of providing a melting pot of sounds that truly blurs the lines. Gloomy, scathing, and ear-tingly progginess all battle it out in such a way that you are less considered about the mix of things, and more intrigued by the way the music consistently brings you along on a sweeping journey that leaves you satisfied and ready to listen all over again.

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