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Review: Winterlore – Eternal Defiance


Review by Jeger

Winterlore – Eternal Defiance

Record Label: Independent 

Year: 2020

Rating: 8/10

Here, in the United States, underneath a veil of mass consumerism, patriotism and bravado you’ll find a broken nation; a place where depression, hostility, anger and even hopelessness run deep. And if one were to travel parts of this country, they’d take in the beauty of coniferous forests and majestic mountain ranges, but also bitter cold winters and drenching rains that dampen the spirit and penetrate to the bone. It’s within this scope of emotions, this realm of varying atmospheres and these unforgiving weather patterns where the spirit of USBM thrives.




Riverton, Utah’s Winterlore describe their sound as “Frozen Evil”. Aside from that, there’s not much to be known about them other than the fact that their musical journey began in 2005, and the lineup consists of drummer Nortaath and vocalist/guitarist Thorolf. On October 30, 2020, they released their third full-length LP, “Eternal Defiance”.


The only thing I like about winter is the fact that it goes well with Black Metal, and with “Eternal Defiance”, I can imagine myself trudging through some treacherous mountain landscape; imagination having its way with me as the sound of Scandinavian-heralding Black Metal echoes off into the frozen atmosphere. Each cut on the record rings with traditional tones that pay homage to the days of early Windir, but with subtle hints of modernity that shine through in various elements such as vocal effects and some rather complex riffing patterns. Racing melodic progressions paired with feathered blast beats in tracks like the titular cut and “Dark Tempest” make “Eternal Defiance” an easy listen, and the overall vibe of the record is one of dark fantasy. But what I favor most about this album is the disciplined use of the keyboards. The atmosphere is ever-present but never overpowering. This casts the music in a soulful, yet elegant glow. I would’ve loved a little more horsepower in the guitar department. I think a deeper tone would’ve given this very ethereal-sounding material some nice depth.


“Eternal Defiance” is an album inspired by early Scandinavian Atmospheric Black Metal, but also the beauty of the US region in which it was crafted. And there’s a certain kind of soulfulness found here; the kind that I believe helps to define the USBM movement. Remember all those dark emotions I mentioned earlier? Well, prepare to leave most of them behind, because this is no melancholy, misanthropic, or hate-fueled excursion; more like a soundtrack to your escape created in a most Immortal-honoring fashion. So, step out from within the sphere of dread and into the paralyzing cold where only the boldest of souls venture. Prepare to experience “Frozen Evil”


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