Winter's Verge - Tales of tragedy 3/5
1. World of lies
2. Old man's wish
3. I swear revenge
4. For those who are gone
5. The captain's log
7. Dark entries
8. Madness once called love
9. Tomorrow's dawn
10. Reflections of the past
11. Curse of time
Set the sails, lads and cast off because Cyprus’ Winter’s Verge are navigating the metal seas with their latest effort called ‘Tales of tragedy’. Although not really a “pirate” metal band like Running Wild and Alestorm, Winter’s Verge is first and foremost a melodic power metal band, but do have a sprinkle of pirate metal running through their sound on this release.
Not extremely well known and one of the very few metal bands to fly the flag of Cyprus, Winter’s Verge was formed in 2004 and have released one demo (2006) and also their debut full-length CD (2008) prior to ‘Tales of tragedy’. Winter’s Verge consists of guitarist Harry Pari, drummer Chris Ioannides, keyboardist Stefanos Psillides, bassist Miguel Trapezaris and vocalist George Charalambous. Presiding over the production of the CD is none other than R.D. Liappakis, vocalist for power metal band Mystic Prophecy. Liappakis also produced the band’s 2008 debut CD as well, entitled ‘Eternal damnation’.
Winter’s Verge plays your typical melodic power metal that you’ve all heard before, containing a nice blend of heavy crunching guitar riffs, with speedy and soaring wails to balance the ledger. While the bass guitar is virtually non-existent, the keyboards play a huge part in their sound and is the backbone in all the tracks on the CD. The keys also take center stage a few times during songs with brief solos and sometimes leading the way for numerous guitar solos.
Musically, I find ‘Tales of tragedy’ to be quite good, obviously producing nothing new or inspired within the massive genre that is melodic power metal, but still solid, catchy and entertaining nevertheless. I do feel, however, that in parts throughout the CD, the songwriting has let them down a little. While most of the tracks flow smoothly and sound great, there are others that are a tad underdone leaving me thinking that they could have been a lot better. Not wanting to be too critical on this release, but I also think that the vocals too, at times, fall short in terms of gusto and delivery. This is a common issue for relatively young vocalists, and improvement will come over time and with experience. The bottom line here is, it all comes down to consistency for both issues raised and improving on them shouldn’t be much of a problem for these talented guys.
Alright, enough of the negative talk, time for some positives. I really like the creative guitar compositions infused with the strong keyboards, which seems to be the core structure of their sound. Even though the music is melodic power metal, Harry Pari is constantly breaking out some killer low-end range chunky riffs to go with his high-end melodic flurrying. When at their best, Winter’s Verge can write some top-notch tracks; none better than “Dark entries”, which contains ferociously fast riffs, pounding double bass, great melody and excellent vocals. In all, it’s a very catchy track that stands alone as the best song on the CD. If only all the tracks could sound like this one, we’d have a masterpiece on our hands. If anything, tracks like “Dark entries” gives us something to look forward to when the next Winter’s Verge CD rolls around. Despite a few tracks missing the mark on this release, there are other tracks which I consider to be very good. These songs I speak of include “The captain’s log”, “I swear revenge”, “Old man’s wish” and “Tomorrow’s dawn”.
When all is said and done, Winter’s Verge are just another melodic power metal band among hundreds of others around the world, and ‘Tales of tragedy’ is another metal CD that has been added to the rapidly growing pool of releases already out there. I must admit though, that ‘Tales of tragedy’ is a decent slab of melodic power metal, better than a lot of what’s currently out there; and ultimately should appeal to fans of bands like Dreamtale, Dreamland, Saint Deamon, Secret Sphere, Leverage and Circle II Circle.
Just to add, I think that it is great that the influence of metal music can touch almost every country in the world and that the land of Cyprus has a promising, young, up and coming metal band to call their own. Winter’s Verge’s next release awaits to open and eager ears.
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