The Howling Wind: “Into The Cryosphere”:
This band is a duo of Ryan Lipynsky from Unearthly Trance and some drummer I don’t know much about. I never heard of either band before this past year anyway. Unearthly Trance also put out an album last year, but I didn’t get much chance to hear that, so I’d feel odd about trying to go too in-depth with this one if I have nothing to say on that one. Stylistically this has more of a black-metal sound where Unearthly Trance are more doom-oriented. You can take that to mean generally faster tempos, guitar sounds that are more trebly instead of bassy, and more intricately-textured guitar chords with close and extended harmonies in them. The vocals are of the raspy, reverbed-out, low in the mix variety, which usually causes me to appreciate something more as instrumental music; I’ve always had a little trouble understanding lyrics in music anyway. This has great atmosphere, seemingly built around a concept having to do with the arctic. Sometimes they convey the stillness of the desolate tundra, but more often it’s about the violence of arctic storms and freezing wind blasting in your face. There is plenty going on in the songs to hold my interest, but not so much that it’s disorienting or doesn’t hold together. The drumming is solid and not excessive. It’s kind of short, but its economy feels welcome. This album is pretty rad all throughout.