Winter’s Edge – ‘The Guardians of Our Time, Pt 1’ album review

Band: Winter’s Edge
Album: The Guardians of Our Time, Pt 1
Release Date: 17th August, 2018
Label: DTSE Music

 

 

Review by AJ

I’ve never listened to Winter’s Edge before, so I didn’t know what I’d be getting into when I listened to their new album ‘The Guardians of Our Time, Pt 1’.
The opening song on the album was an introductory piece called ‘Open Worlds’. I found this track, although short, quite theatrical and definitely showed a glimpse of what was to come later on. The 54-second-long piece was extremely dramatic and I enjoyed the lead guitar part. I found it pretty cool the way that the outro lead into the next song, ‘Guardians of Our Time’. I appreciated the commitment to the theme they seem to be portraying in this album with the marching at the start of the track. I think the female vocals work effectively and it is refreshing to hear more female vocalists in the metal genre. the vocals in this are powerful and the versatility of this track is interesting which I think really shows off what this band has to offer. It has a real “movie” feel to it and I like it!
Then, track 3 – ‘Path of Desperation’. I love the addition of the voice over before and really think continues the theatrics of the record. As a listener, I enjoyed the backing vocals and I really thought they were solid and didn’t make the rest of the vocals muddy which can happen in this genre. However, I found this track very repetitive with not much difference between verses and choruses like in ‘Guardians of Our Time’. The final instrumental at the end is sweet which I liked as an outro but also wouldn’t have minded something like that splitting up the choruses more from the verses. I’d say this track is one of the weakest on the album and was really hoping the rest wouldn’t be like that.

Bringing it back was ‘Momentarily’ which I thought was strong. Instead of the longer intros, they got straight to the point which I think is a nice change. The vocals are impressive in this track and the lyrics are catchy and easy to remember. The guitars are definitely more defined and I found that solo fucking amazing – short but not underwhelming! One thing I didn’t really like about this song was the ending although, I felt as if it could be better and it didn’t feel “truly finished” to me – maybe someone else would think differently.
After this we had ‘Break It Up’ which I honestly enjoyed. The guitar accompaniment was a lot more solid and the vocals were really striking here. The lyrics and chorus flowed really well and I didn’t have a hard time paying attention as it genuinely was catchy. I love the guitar solo here and the lead guitar is super fucking cool. I would have preferred if the solo part wasn’t as in the background as the rhythm swallowed it a lot. The guitarists are really impressive and I like their style. As a whole, I felt like this track was a lot more consistent than some of the others and the flow was stronger. What does set it apart is that coda! They end it with a simple guitar melody which is oddly perfect, the contrast really works well. It’s haunting and evocative.

The next song I really liked. Titled ‘Dying Star’, it also had a flawless intro. This was probably my favourite one in the whole album! It compliments the vocals really well and reminded me of bands such as Heart which also shows off the versatility of this band. The lyrics are a lot much clearer and the chorus is really memorable. I really enjoy the difference between the chorus and the verses. The vocalist’s work here is exceptional and you can really hear her talent. I think it has improved a lot more since the first tracks. Then we have the solo which, yet again, is absolutely stellar and I find myself really enjoying listening to these solos as they’re all really thrilling and entertaining. The skill of the lead is the real deal. The ending with that fantastic chorus is exactly what is needed to conclude this track!
‘Fatal Dreams’ was next and that was really something different. The intro has the theatrics as the previous tracks did but got straight to the point as well. I feel that the vocalist is only getting better and better as these tracks go on and on. I enjoy the lyrics once again – I believe they also improve! The whispering effect in the songs really gives it a definite theme experienced all throughout these albums. Then we get to the breakdown – holy shit – that solo is badass. I cannot explain how much it fucking rips. It really takes some talent and I can guarantee if you’re looking for great instrumentalists, this band has it! The energy and tone definitely worked well for this song and I like the story this track tells. The outro is clever – the fade out leaves you wanting more. This song is definitely not just a filler and has so much presence on this record.

I like how they started straight into it in this track. ‘In The End’ is the final full-length song on this record and I do appreciate the continuing energy from the previous track. The use of the “growling” vocals adds more to the song and once again, is really well done. The lyrics are easy to follow which also makes this song memorable and gives a lot more occupancy on the record. The tempo of the song really sets it apart from the rest, it’s a lot more faster paced which I thought was sweet and is a nice change for those who find themselves bored by “slower” tracks. Then that simple but utilitarian solo honestly just adds to the presence of this track. The vocalist’s ability is really allowed to shine through in this track and really allows to you to appreciate her skill. The outro to this song is strong- it’s the outro ‘Momentarily’ wishes it had.
Last but not least, we have ‘Through The Ferryman’s Eyes’ and I really dig it. I love speaking tracks and poetry, I’d guess is what you’d call it. I really feel like this adds to the dramatics of the record and follows the theme strongly. I really love this track and it is definitely a suitable ending for such a powerful and emotive album.

So, I found this album to be compelling and riveting. The talent shown by the Winter’s Edge is definitely something to be experienced and if you’re a fan of concept albums such as ‘The Astonishing’ by Dream Theater, then this also will appeal to you. They have a very Nightwish-esque feel and their style is very enjoyable and I would like to hear more from them in the future.

 

 

 

Track Listing:
1. Open Worlds
2. Guardians of Our Time
3. Path of Desperation
4. Momentarily
5. Break It Up
6. Dying Star
7. Fatal Dreams
8. In the End
9. Through the Ferryman’s Eyes

 

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