After seven and a half long years, the Israelis are doing it Winterhorde to talk about themselves musically again – at a time when positive news from their homeland is very, very urgently needed. However, their sound has very little to do with hope, because the newly formed septet remains true to the demanding darkness. Melodic Black Metal, often designed to be progressive and complex, naturally also dominates the powerful, hypnotic style „Neptunian“.
At the heart of the album lurks the epic “Alone In The Ocean”, a real declaration of war for Winterhorde. In fact, they manage to create nine highly exciting, multi-layered minutes that courageously mix long and biting black metal with prog elements and folklore. Yoni “Oblivion” Oren, who is responsible for the clear vocals, can particularly excel in this monolith. He is reminiscent of another prominent Israeli voice: Kobi Farhi from Orphaned Land, who appears in “Angels In Disguise”. This furious hussar ride has black metallic components that rise significantly upwards and falls with the door into the house – an oppressive, repeatedly exploding piece of music of a particularly fine kind.
With the extremely busy Davidavi Dolev (including Subterranean Masquerade), a second guest has found his way onto this album. “A Harvester Of Storm” becomes a repeatedly exploding triumph with an anthemic main part. In terms of dramaturgy, the approach here is bold. The quasi-title song “Neptunian (As Trident Strikes The Ice)” takes a much rougher path. Although the clear vocals are once again strong, it’s the growls from Zed Destructive, who makes his big appearance here, that don’t let go. The same applies to the bouncer “With Bare Hands Against The Storm”, whose uncomfortable appearance repeatedly drifts towards mid-tempo and dedicates itself to chaos.
What was still struggling with minor teething problems on the last few albums is now finally working out: Winterhorde have found the right mix and are fully deservingly enjoying the fruits of their success. Furious Black Metal, crackling melodies, big hymns and really progressive demands finally come together. Two extremely strong voices and no less good guests, plus rousing songwriting and raw, destructive energy – “Neptunian” has that certain something and courageously holds on. After over two decades in the business, Winterhorde present their best work to date and show that their story is still a long, long way from being told.
Available from: December 8th, 2023
Available via: Noble Demon
Slider-Pic (c) Winterhorde
Category: Magazin, Reviews