Released: Aug 9, 2002
Genre: Black Metal, Doom Metal
Number Of Tracks: 5
For a first effort this is very well put together and all the songs make this EP hold up surprisingly well to the rest of the bands catalogue.
Against the Seasons: Cold Winter Songs From the Dead Summer Heat [EP]
damillion, on june 06, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: "Against the Seasons: Cold Winter Songs From the Dead Summer Heat" is the debut EP of Canadian melodic black metallers Woods of Ypres. Later frontman David Gold only played drums on this release as opposed to handling vocals, guitar and bass and keys as he did on later albums. The line up also included Brian McManus (guitar, vocals) and Aaron Palmer (bass, vocals).
"Woods I" it starts off very straight forward with "The Shams of Optimism," which goes hand in hand with the following "Crossing the 45th Parallel." 18 seconds into the first track we are thrown into a black metal soundscape which doesn't show any signs of slowing down for the first couple of songs. Once we reach the third, "The Sea of Immeasurable Loss," the music takes on a more dynamic shift with calmer parts (played on a clean guitar) being thrown in and some more interesting harmonies starting to emerge. We are certainly not talking about a calm in the eye of the storm, seeing as there's still a lot of energy going into the music here as well. It continues down the road with more heaviness and raw emotion in "A Meeting Place and Time" and "Awaiting the Inevitable" and then it ends very abruptly. In technical terms "Against the Seasons" sounds well-produced for a first effort and all the instruments are audible most of the time. In musical terms the biggest thing to note coming from the later material is how small a role the doom metal-component I've come to associate with Woods of Ypres plays on this record. This is not to say that it's not absorbed the somber atmosphere of the genre it most definitely has! The rhythms however makes it sound more like heavy black metal than doom metal. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics on "Woods I" were written by David Gold, and we are given a text about his solitude travelling through the woods during winter, longing for home. In "A Meeting Place and Time" and "Awaiting the Inevitable" the lyrics change topic to a non-working relationship. As for the vocals they are performed by Brian McManus and Aaron Palmer. The growling vocal style has much less clarity than the vocals that would later be performed by Gold. The clean vocals are serviceable. I think the voice is good but the performance is pretty stale which means they don't convey the emotion as well as some, which could have improved the EP's two final songs. The instruments and the backing vocals however carry the dark mood very well. // 6
Overall Impression: My favourite song from the EP is "The Sea Of Immeasureable Loss," which has the gloomiest atmosphere and gives a feeling of intense pain and depression. Overall I'm reminded of Gorgoroth, though Woods of Ypres music is more depressive and less hateful. For a first effort this is very well put together and all the songs make this EP hold up surprisingly well to the rest of the bands catalogue. If I was to say anything critical it's that the lack of the doom metal elements that would later become evident in Woods of Ypres sound makes this record less varied. Judged on its own merits however, this is certainly a very good effort.