Winter is perhaps one of the most underrated doom metal bands ever to emerge on the American metal scene. During their career they recorded only one full-length album and one EP, but that was enough to convince the fans that a new icon of deep, depressing music was born. The band did not last long on the scene, departing shortly after the release of their debut album. Their legacy, however, lives on and does not cease to amaze fans all over the world â€“ both of Winterâ€™s releases are to this day considered classics among the best doom metal albums ever released.
And today Metal Mind Productions presents an exclusive re-release, combining both â€œInto Darknessâ€ and the â€œEternal Frostâ€ EP. The listeners now have a unique opportunity to get to know the complete works of Winter â€“ a collection showcasing the essence of a truly chilling doom metal experience. Classic material from Nuclear Blast archives in a new digipak edition, limited to numerated 2000 copies. Digitally remastered using 24-Bit process on golden disc.
â€œInto Darkness / Eternal Frostâ€ (remastered)
Label: Metal Mind Records
Cat. No.: MASS CD 1136 DG
Format: CD Digipak (limited edition of 2000 numerated copies)
Genre: death/doom metal
Release date: 25.02.2008 Europe / 13.05.2008 USA
1. Oppression Freedom
2. Servants Of The Warsmen
4. Power And Might
6. Eternal Frost
7. Into Darkness
8. Servants Of The Warsmen
9. Eternal Frost
12. Manifestation I (hidden track)
The beginnings of the group reach back to 1988, when Winter was formed in New York by three musicians: John Alman (bass/vocals), Stephen Flam (guitar) and Joe Gonclaves (drums). Their goal was to create intelligent and heavy music, with a serious message to it. Their self-titled demo from 1989 shows exactly the direction towards which they were heading â€“ sludgy riffs, low pulsing bass and deep growling vocals all became Winterâ€™s trademark. The music had a specific death metal feel to it, but in the same time it conjoined other genres as well. The result was truly impressive â€“ the band managed to capture the essence of doom metal and enclose it in a crushing death metal form. They didnâ€™t need keyboards to build up the melancholic mood â€“ instead, they used low-tuned guitars implemented by echo effects. However, the four-track demo release was merely a teaser for the full length album, which was put out in 1990 by Future Shock Records. â€œInto Darknessâ€ was labeled the perfect mix between doom metal in the likes of Candlemass and old-school death metal, successfully mixing all the crucial elements of both genres. For many critics, Winterâ€™s release paved the way for bands such as Morgion, Disembowelment and even early My Dying Bride and Anathema, while the death metal influences were often compared to the likes of Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. As for Almanâ€™s vocals, they were by some considered a cross between Glen Benton from Decide and Rich Lipscomb of Fleshgrind. In one of the albumâ€™s reviews Winterâ€™s music was called a â€œsoundtrack to apocalypseâ€™s aftermathâ€ â€“ this is by far the best description of â€œInto Darknessâ€. The music was extremely deep and atmospheric, thanks to Greg Marchak who was the albumâ€™s co-producer. However, the lyrical side was equally important for the band. Instead of the usual topics associated with such heavy music, Winterâ€™s lyrics depicted humanity contributing to the worldâ€™s destruction, abusing natural resources and slowly killing the environment. The message was clear â€“ if thing are going to remain the way they are, we are doomed to extinction by our own hand.
â€œInto Darknessâ€ was badly promoted by Future Shock, therefore Winter decided to sign a deal with Nuclear Blast. In 1992 the album was re-released, this time being well distributed on the market. Unfortunately, after this release Winter decided to disband. In 1994 Nuclear Blast decided to release the bandâ€™s demo from 1989 under the name â€œEternal Frostâ€, enriching it with a unique bonus track â€œManifestations 1â€, which was another example of the groupâ€™s stylistic variety â€“ the track was an ambient/experimental/noise tune, pretty much different than anything that Winter has ever recorded.