|Review: Winter - Into Darkness|
Label: Southern Lord
Year released: 2011
Originally released in: 1990
Review online: April 28, 2011
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.26/5 (65.26%) (19 Votes)
Odd to get a promo of an album I've had for 20 years, of course I have the Future Shock release from 1990, and this is a remastered version from Southern Lord that's coming out this month. This album was almost completely ignored when it was released, and hell, I only bought it because I ran across it used - I had no idea who the band was. Winter were one of the pioneers of Doom/Death, releasing this the same year as Paradise Lost's Lost Paradise and ahead of other seminal bands like Anathema and My Dying Bride by several years.
Pioneering this may be, but it's not really all that awesome, and I don't think Winter can take much credit for popularizing the genre, as it was MDB and Paradise Lost that really broke big. This is a dreadfully slow and pretty dull album of studious clunking riffs and deep gurgly vocals. Slow music can be tremendously affecting when it has compelling melody and atmosphere, which this does not really have. The songs just kind of thud along, with no build, no tension or emotion. Vocalist John Alman sounds bored, and his vocal lines just go on and on with no emphasis or any feeling - he sounds like he's just reading lines off a sheet of paper in a scary voice.
Despite that some people line up to laud this as a lost classic just because it's obscure, it really is not very good. There's a reason why other bands and works got the attention while this one vanished - those other bands were better, and made better music. Into Darkness has been re-released several times over the decades by those who tout it as a masterwork, but it's not.
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