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Seidr's For Winter Fire was one of those 2011 releases that I kept meaning to check out, but never got around to it until now. I'm glad I finally did.
Despite a band and album name that practically have corpse paint all over them, there's little to no black metal on here. Instead, I'm going to put this into the nebulous "post-doom metal" category. Their sound keeps going back to heavy, melancholic doom metal with death growled (and some clean) vocals. The juxtaposition of angry vocals with sad music is interesting enough. Whether the band intended this or not, it's a poignant illustration of how emotions can be confusing, or how one emotion can be used as a mask for another.
The record starts with an Across Tundras style Western soundtrack theme. "On the Shoulder of the Gods" starts out as Sunn O))) for the first four minutes before using those elements in a more recognizable song. And closer "Stream Keeper" channels Isis. But no matter where a particular song starts, it always ends up in that trademark melancholic/vitriolic doom metal.
Seidr expertly mold their influence from the above-mentioned masters of atmosphere to their own designs, clearly showing they understand it. But if you think you have to pick atmosphere or memorable songwriting, you're in for a surprise, because they have both.
The Verdict: For a band's first full-length, For Winter Fire is a remarkably distinctive approach that's remarkably well-developed. Still, I think there's a lot of unrealized potential here. I will definitely be keeping my eye out to see what Seidr will do next.
originally written for http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/