WINTERHORDE – Maestro
"Maestro" is my first encounter with the Israeli progressive metal outfit known as Winterhorde, a band that consists of seven members. You do not see that very often. Anyway, as I said, "Maestro" marks the first time that I have ever listened to the symphonic and wildly imaginative music spawned by these guys, but judging by the quality of this particular album something tells me that I ought to seek their previous two full-length assaults out.
"Maestro" is certainly well-composed and cleverly written. There can be no doubt about that. You can just tell that a lot of work went into crafting the 11 songs that constitute this album. The arrangements are incredibly cool, and these guys do not give one flying fuck about conventional song structures and what have you, that is for sure. Musically speaking, I am tempted to say that Winterhorde is rooted in melodic black metal, but they incorporate so many different elements from power metal, jazz, classic hard rock, progressive rock, classical music, and so on, that it is nearly impossible for me to classify or label this band. I love it when bands transcend genres like that.
Each and every song on the album is musically challenging and yet strangely catchy. While they appear and sound unpredictable, there is something familiar about the whole thing as well. I cannot for the life of me explain how that works or why I feel that way. Anyway, the music shifts between mellow and melancholic segments and aggressive outbursts that sound quite brutal. There are many contrasts within the music, but somehow Winterhorde have managed to make it all flow together perfectly. Impressive! The melodies are strong and atmospheric, and the vocals complement the countless nuances of the music nicely. My only complaint is that the production does leave a little to be desired. There are places where things sound a bit flat to my ears, but that does not detract from the quality of the songs themselves.
If powerful, epic, and dynamic music gets your dick hard then by all means check "Maestro" out, but keep in mind that it demands and requires quite a lot from the listener, so be sure to give it time. It will most likely grow on you.