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Winter Crescent - Battle of Egos CD (album) cover

BATTLE OF EGOS

Winter Crescent

 

Progressive Metal

3.51 | 6 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Greece's metal scene may not be as expansive as the landscape of some other European countries, but acts like Crete's Winter Crescent prove that there are more top-notch bands from this small nation than one may initially assume. Showcasing a style of old school progressive metal reminiscent of Fates Warning and Psychotic Waltz, the band's 2009 debut EP entitled Battle of Egos is the sort of music that really connects with me as a listener - the songwriting is sophisticated without sounding self-indulgent, the melodies are strong without sounding like cheap hooks, and the music gets pretty heavy without ever losing sight of memorability. If you, like me, can't get enough of classic progressive metal releases, Battle of Egos is a downright essential listen.

Perhaps due to the raw production values and two-guitarist instrumentation (there are no keyboards here), Winter Crescent's music reminds me mostly of late eighties' and early nineties' progressive metal in the vein of Fates Warning, Queensryche, and especially Psychotic Waltz. The American one-album progressive thrash metal wonder The Last Things wouldn't be a bad point of reference either, as Winter Crescent's generally dark atmospheres and gritty guitar tones give off a bit of a thrash vibe. The important thing to take note of, though, is that Battle of Egos is old school to the bone, and folks that miss the days when progressive metal sounded more like a complex version of traditional metal than a separate genre will be delighted to hear this one.

At over 34 minutes, Battle of Egos is also a fairly lengthy EP release, so it's a great value when one considers the generally high level of compositional talent exhibited by Winter Crescent. Each of the tracks are memorable and interesting enough to warrant numerous repeat listens, but "Furrow" is my personal favorite; Nikos Spyridakis's vocals really bring Devon Graves to mind here! As talented as all of the instrumentalists here are (and talented they are indeed; there are more than enough complex rhythmic ideas and melodic leads to satisfy any progressive metalhead), it's Nikos's tremendous vocal performance that really propels Winter Crescent into the upper tier of the genre.

Although Battle of Egos is perhaps not the most groundbreaking release in recent memory and a more professional production would benefit Winter Crescent's music greatly, I have completely fallen in love what these Greeks have put together for their debut EP. This is some excellent material, and I will be eagerly awaiting Winter Crescent's next move!

J-Man | 4/5 |

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