Winter Nights - Sky Burial
Self released
Melodic Blackened Death Metal
4 songs (18'51")
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Alex

It is hard to think of Brooklyn, NY as a hotbed for extreme metal, or heavy metal in general. Winter Nights are not a super extreme troupe, but their Sky Burial EP is a very competent effort in the melodic blackened death genre, with an emphasis on melodic.

Time to Say Goodbye is a good representative for the EP where a majestic opening proceeds to converge on a simple yet catchy riff situated somewhere between gothic and melodic death metal, with the aforementioned dreamy atmosphere still contributing. Keyboards are still present and help out, but guitars carry the majority of the load, with dual vocals adding another layer to the music. Deep chesty, but not too extreme, verse growls are coupled with a higher pitched, but not too extreme, blackened shrieky choruses. It is if Amon Amarth went out to discover its milder gothic side, and allowed some keyboards to pitch into the process. But, again, without going overboard in any direction. I Pray to I is Sky Burial most “savage” song, if it can be called that, but the softer side of the band still shines through and guitars are keen on displaying simple attractive melodicism.

Not everything on the EP is about just being pleasing, as Neither Faith nor Fear puts the listener in a darker mysterious mood, an occult procession of sorts, and there is more courage to blast and in general play at faster tempo. The closer title track is the most epic, grandiose and monumental. The composition has its own unabashed melodic death moments, but strives to maintain its stately “bigness”. The band throws every tool they have in their arsenal on this composition. There is tremolo, blasts, various timbre attenuated vocal lines. The song is rousing and leaves the mark, until it disappears into a dark horizon with a final piano fade. On some levels listening to Sky Burial and especially its title track reminded me of less densely produced Jens Ryden solo efforts Dead Silent Slumber and to a lesser degree Profundi (since it was significantly more black metal).

To close, competent, the word I used to start with, is the best term to describe Winter Nights, even if it is not the most head turning.

Killing Songs :
Title track
Alex quoted 78 / 100
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