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Review: Ancient Wound - The Winterholder
Ancient Wound
The Winterholder

Label: Independent
Year released: 2010
Duration: 66:35
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black/Thrash

Rating: 4/5

Review online: May 9, 2010
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
The Winterholder

Rated 3.17/5 (63.33%) (6 Votes)

It's been a long time in the making, but finally here's Ancient Wound's second opus. At the root this is in the same vein as The Undead Storm, a blackened thrash with an old school-meets-new school vibe. The Winterholder however benefits from a better production and as such sounds more professional, though I must admit that I miss the more underground sound of the previous album. Ancient Wound kicked the speed up a notch here – there isn't much time to catch your breath when you hit the occasional slowdown. This doesn't feel as heavy as its predecessor, but the speed makes up for it. I also detect some more traditional heavy metal influences this time around, a couple of songs sounding much more "heavy" than "thrash", especially when you hit some of the invigorating solos they threw in there. Gotta love those solos that just sweep you off your feet! Amidst the expected speedy thrashing moments that keep you headbanging insanely are some pretty cool melodic bits, courtesy of some well done guitar work, that seamlessly blend in with the rougher, raw metal on offer.

The vocals are more or less decipherable black-ish raspy screeches rather common to black/thrash and fit the music like a glove – that vocalist does a good overall job delivering the goods in sync with the music, no matter how fast or slow it gets. Also the vocals are kept enough in the background and do not overpower the instruments, much appreciated especially with some of the compositions that have quite a bit going on in the instrumental department.

The album is a little bit too long for its own good: It's just not diverse enough to keep you interested for that long and at some point it feels a little repetitive. Don't get me wrong – the songs aren't bad at all, so you won't feel the urge to hit the stop button, but maybe they should have kept a good 15 minutes of material for the next album. This of course will depend a lot on the listener, but this is a feeling I haven't been able to shake since the first listen a few months back. The songs are also rather lengthy for the genre, clocking in at anywhere from 4 to 13 minutes, with most of them over 6 minutes long. No quickies here! Overall, The Winterholder is a worthy follow up to the band's debut.

Other related information on the site
Review: The Undead Storm (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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