This melodic Power Metal outfit returns with their second album, cleverly named "The Second Coming". So it has something new to offer? Because I'm getting tired of listening to lame and repetitive Power Metal records… so, come, let's see if WINTERLONG can stand off this crowded scene.
A little background first, shall we? First of all WINTERLONG is the brainchild of guitar virtuoso and composer Thorbjörn Englund (Damn that's a hard name!), he also does the bass lines, but the lead guitar is his thing and he succeeds at this, he has a very intricate way of playing, the compositions are very experimental, almost progressive. Also a new singer has been recruited, Mikael Holm, he does a nice job reaching the notes, but a little bit of aggression could be a element to look out for future albums. On the drums we have a shared job here, one half of the album is played by Anders Johansson (HAMMERFALL) and the other half by Andreas Lill (VANDEN PLAS), so all the drumming is excellent.
After a short intro, the album starts with "Twisting My Fate", this track shows Englund's intricate playing, that I was talking about before, it is not Progressive, it is not entirely Power Metal, it is very experimental. "Northman" is my favourite track in the album, a fast-tempo song, killer chorus, nice soloing, like Power Metal should be! Another killer tracks are "Wild Winters Night" and "Evolution".
WINTERLONG deliver a pretty good album here, with a potent technical side to back up it, but the compositions are sometimes too experimental, it might take to most fans 4 to 5 listens to fully appreciate it, I listened to it several times, but I didn't get it…
So bottom line, if you're looking for technical Power Metal, guitar wizardry and weird compositions, get this one, but if you are looking for a more laid back style, seek elsewhere. (Online November 29, 2003)