Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Pretty interesting - 78%

Noktorn, April 23rd, 2007

This is a pretty interesting album simply on the virtue of its influences. Archaic Winter plays a breed of oldschool death metal that's highly similar to, of all things, Gorguts' debut 'Considered Dead' album, nearly forgotten in the metallic sands of time. If it wasn't strange enough to choose this as a point of reference, what if I told you that there seems to be a pinch of modern-day 'war' black metal, such as Canada's Operation Winter Mist? Yes, it just gets stranger and stranger with 'The Psychology Of Death', an album that manages to be both unique and nostalgic at once, and functions handily as the debut from a band that will be doing many intriguing things in the future.

The first thing you'll notice about the music here is the production. Very thin and black metal style, it actually works well for the frosty aesthetic that Archaic Winter cultivates. Guitarwork is buzzing, swinging tremolo riffing with periodic melodic twists and turns and appropriate shifts in tempo. Drumming is programmed, though you probably wouldn't know it merely by listening: it feels very natural all throughout, and never devolves to mindless blasting. Vocals, provided by Peter Hasselbrack of Bloodshed, are fairly standard DM growls, albeit with a bit more of a roaring quality to them. While this all sounds fairly generic, when combined they tend to be more than the sum of their parts. Tracks such as 'Under The Black Moons' use their sinister sense of wafting melody to make the music much more complex than it would otherwise be. However, the more brutal tracks are no slouches either: closer 'Colors Of Despair' is very intense but sacrifices no quality in songwriting.

When you get down to it, the central thing that differentiates this band from others of the same genre is aesthetics, but they're very well-developed aesthetics that shouldn't be ignored. The use of black metal production with death metal music in this case is an extremely effective technique for this album, and the lack of bass does much to accentuate the dark, cold atmosphere of this LP. Every element on this disc screams 'frost', even down to the lyrics, which unlike typical death metal, are less destruction and hatred-based and more set into cold, bitter indifference towards the universe. Call it the death metal version of 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' if you will, with less intra-member murder and more growling.

'The Psychology Of Death' is a solid debut from Archaic Winter. I'm interested in seeing what the band does in the future with a higher budget and more recognition; as they stand now, however, they're most certainly doing something interesting. Worth a look from most metalheads.