|Gone Til Winter - 'The First Season' (Self Released)|
|Written by Matt Phelps|
|Friday, 25 May 2012 04:00|
Acting as something of a retrospective ahead of this year's forthcoming new album, 'Hiding From The Sun', Gone Til Winter's 'The First Season' is something of a round up of rare material showcasing some of the strides the Manchester five piece have made into female led melodic rock/metal over the past 7 years. Starting with the beat driven 'Solemise' from way back in 2006 I ask the immediate question as to why I've not heard of these guys and dolls before as this first taste seems to stand head and shoulders above so many other lady-fronted outfits.
Comparisons to the likes of Evanescence and Flyleaf will be the most forthcoming from the majority of people but that would do Gone Til Winter a slight, nay major, disservice as their brand of fiery high level energy brings a far more hard hitting and real edge to their music than that of the more contrived sounding commercialism of their American counterparts. This is most noticeable on second track 'Heat Signal' which really hits the mark, although this time that may be down to the fact it sounds a little like a carbon copy of Annihilator style mechani-riff delivery. Something from 'Remains', maybe even 'All For You' as the clinical burst of guitar builds rigid walls to run parallel to the hypnotising vocals of Winter wonder woman Talena Cuthbert.
The instant melody of 'Kill Me' rings out with an addictive smoothness that reels you in Siren like with a haunting hook. Beautiful and enthralling it has a little progressive edge yet remains ruthlessly classic with great sounding production from Mark Mynett. Another Mynett production from 2005 sees 'Utopia' showing yet another angle with an almost funk driven bass line this time taking centre stage. Evidence indeed that Gone Til Winter possess the capabilities to turn out a successful and intriguing range of styles .
A trio of acoustic takes wrap up the album but 'Distant Places', 'Release' and 'Constant Retreat' take a little of the edge of 'The First Season' for me as they just seem surplus to requirements and don't hold the same level of energy to support the honestly stunning voice of Talena like the electric numbers do. While they're all pleasant enough to be "B-side material" having them all grouped together here at the end just leaves me feeling that 'The First Season' ends on more of a whimper and that these rarities would have been better off left in the wilderness.
Previous to the acoustics though and acting as the heavy sections bookend is the dramatic, atmospheric 'Deep Sleep' with Rosie Smith' delicate key strokes drifting like snow flakes into the subtle but direct mix. Marking a fitting end to an impressive collection 'The First Season' leads nicely along the path to new material that will hopefully be upon us this summer. In the mean time get up to date with the current Winter situation here;
To pick up your copy of 'The First Season' - CLICK HERE