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BATTLE OF EGOS

Winter Crescent

 

Progressive Metal

3.51 | 6 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Battle of Egos" is a 7 track, 34:17 minutes long EP release by Greek, Crete, Heraklion based progressive metal act Winter Crescent. The EP was self-released through Bandcamp in May 2009. Winter Crescent have existed since 2000, but it wasn't until 2008 that a stable lineup was established. "Battle of Egos" is as such a demo EP, but these days with loads of self-released releases what constitutes a demo and what doesn't is a bit unclear.

...the only thing about "Battle of Egos" that points in the direction of this release being a demo is the sound production, which at times could have used a more professional hand. It's a slight issue though when the quality of the music is as high as it's the case here. Winter Crescent play a rather dark, heavy and occasionally even slightly psychadelic progressive metal style. The band are a "regular" metal constellation with two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and a singer. No keyboards on this one. The tracks feature complex structures and the band often play with tempo- and time signature changes. There is a good balance between varied heavy riffing and more atmospheric sections. While there are no keyboards in the music, the band instead skillfully add texture to some sections by adding harmony layers of feedback guitars placed low in the mix. A very nice feature and something I hope the band will experiment with further in the future.

The band are genereally well playing but it's lead vocalist Nikos Spyridakis that takes them a level higher. He has a strong voice that sometimes reminds me of Warrel Dane (Sanctuary, Nevermore) and when he sings most odd I hear slight nods toward Buddy Lackey (Psychotic Waltz) (take a listen to the middle section in "Furrow" for proof of the latter mentioned influence). He is very expressive and sings with great passion. In addition to the above mentioned influences I think there are nods toward mid- to late nineties Fates Warning in the music too. But that's when the band play their more technical parts. It's the opening trio of tracks, which form the "Battle of Egos" suite that are most impressive to my ears and I do feel that the longer into the EP I get, some songwriting issues begin to appear. It's nothing too serious, but the quality and the memorability factor do drop slightly a couple of times during the playing time.

Despite a sound production that might be lacking a bit of a professional touch and a few compositional weaknesses in some tracks, "Battle of Egos" is a very enjoyable progressive metal release. Provide these guys with enough money to buy studio time and a professional producer and I'm sure their next release will be even more killer than this one already is. In it's current form this EP is still a very promising first release from a very promising act and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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