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How Like a Winter : The Winter's Near

When you receive a demo CD with song titles like 'Vampiric Serenade' and 'The Beauty, the Beast', you just know what to expect. Those Italians are proud to play gothic metal and they show it. Fortunately, the music is not quite as annoyingly clichéd as one would expect from a band with a Shakespearean band name (which is derived from the master’s Sonnet XCVII) and such predictable track titles.

Sure, all the "traditional" elements are there (melancholy violins, romantic piano interludes, fragile male/female vocals, grunts which are mixed carefully in the background not to shock the potential "softie" fanbase), but the songwriting is strong enough to hold the listener’s attention (I suppose that the short length of this demo is also an advantage here). The songs are tasteful and their pseudo-artistic pretensions don’t hinder them at all, quite in contrary actually. Their hollow art has in fact something intriguing, as it happens with so many fascinating gothic rock bands. Only those who are searching for delicatessen within the atmospheric metal genre shall probably be left with a bad taste on their mouths here, as what I hear on this demo is hardly the crème de la crème of the Italian dark metal scene. Here and there they could have incorporated more power and body in their compositions, which I hope they'll do in the future, as the lack of intensity of this material can't entertain a demanding listener for more than 30 minutes.

The band have recently released their debut album '...Beyond My Grey Wake', but I have yet to hear it. Those who are interested to know what exactly to expect from this band, can download samples at stage.vitaminic.com/how_like_a_winter/ or visit their website at www.howlikeawinter.com.

[edit by admin.: Both the sites listed are now down. However the band has a MySpace page (myspace.com/howlikeawinterband) where you can still find samples of the music.]

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Relief
2. Vampiric Serenade
3. The Beauty, the Beast
4. Your Rest
5. To the Farthest Bound of Life

Duration : Approx. 28 minutes

Visit the How Like a Winter bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kostas Panagiotou
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