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Freezing Winds and Razor Sharp Riffs - 82%

TheStormIRide, May 1st, 2017
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Frozen Blood Industries (Limited edition)

Formed in 2005, New Zealand’s Winter Deluge recently dropped their second full length album, Devolution – Decay through Frozen Blood Industries. Though the band has been around for well over a decade, they haven’t quite been able to penetrate the international black metal scene. If the music on their latest offering is any indication, it shouldn’t be much longer until Winter Deluge begins garnering a larger following.

The band’s sound lies somewhere between the faster, more blasting acts of the second wave (Gorgoroth, Immortal, etc.) and the pummeling blackened death of Angelcorpse or Impiety. Devolution – Decay is fast and heavy, yet, staying true to their moniker, cold melodies lurk under the surface. There is little downtime on the album’s forty-six minute running time; blasting percussion and viciously paced, razor sharp riffing lead the charge in unrelenting fashion.

The scraping, throaty growls add a very filthy and primeval touch, while the inexorable percussion and fervent trem riffing fire away. The occasional atmospheric passages, focusing on minor key melodies, calls to mind De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, yet these moments are fleeting as the pace is constantly kicked back into hyperdrive. The riffing, while not quite buzzsaw levels, centers on sharp, almost grinding movements; with vicious hooks often hiding in the din. This focus on harsh trem riffing allows the fleeting moments of punchy, palm muted power chords to stand out like a beacon; offering all-too-brief moments of crunchy, yet crushing groove.

Fitting somewhere between blasting second wave worship and pummeling blackened death metal, Winter Deluge has crafted a fine album for fans of sharp and punishing black metal. Full of blasts and razor sharp riffs, Devolution – Decay should probably be reaching a much wider audience than it has. Boasting a classy production, even with the blazing instrumentation, this forty-six minute behemoth checks all the right boxes.

Written for The Metal Observer.