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Winterborn - Cold reality 4/5

Reviewed: 1-12-07


1. Wildheart
2. Last train to hell
3. On the edge of eternity
4. The real me
5. Lovehunter
6. New dawn
7. In my dreams
8. The king and the God
9. Coming home

Winterborn is a new band from Finland that began their career as a cover band named Mean Machine. They obviously learned they have what it takes to tackle their own material and I would definitely have to agree, as their debut 'Cold reality' is quite impressive in all aspects.

The band's music style is melodic metal with a slight progressive edge and some power/speed thrown in too. The guitars have a great deal of crunch and because of this, Cloudscape and Last Tribe are the bands that are most comparable. There are parts/songs similar to what we hear from Voice, Planet Alliance and Kamelot as well, but I'm also reminded of the less speedy (more bouncy/crunchy) material from bands like Thunderstone, Masterstroke, Excalion, Supreme Majesty and Dreamtale.

Vocally, Winterborn is set, as Teemu Koskela has a strong and clear voice not unlike the great Mike Anderson of Cloudscape/Planet Alliance (who is by far one of my current favorite vocalists!!). There are times when Teemu's just a bit on the rougher side though, and it's Stephane Fradet of Falkirk that comes to mind during these times. I prefer Teemu's clear side, but he's solid all the way around. It sure seems like some of the best vocalists are Scandinavian, and Teemu is right up there with the rest.

'Cold reality' is a CD that grabs you right from the start with "Wildheart", a song that instantly brings Last Tribe to mind. The following "Last train to hell" is the ultimate highlight though, as its guitar work and soaring chorus is nothing short of spectacular! Track 3 "On the edge of eternity" is not only the longest song on the CD (just over 10 minutes) and the most melodic, but it's also quite cool the way it starts out in pounding/powerful fashion and then calms down for some pleasant moments near the end (before picking back up again at the very end).

Other favorites are the smooth but catchy "New dawn" and the slow instrumental "In my dreams", which brings the CD some variety. "The real me", "Lovehunter" and "The king and the God" aren't quite as good as the songs I've mentioned thus far, but they don't bring the CD's overall quality down too much. The closer, "Coming home", is a strong finish and the CD remains a very enjoyable listen as a whole. Plus, this is a CD that will not only appeal to fans of pure melodic metal, but both power and progressive metal lovers should like this too. Really, it's a CD that's highly recommended to a wide variety of listeners.




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