So I’ve been digging through un-opened promos from this year that simply got missed due to scheduling or whatever and man, I’ve really hit the fucking jackpot with this one. I feel terrible that I missed it because it’s awesome. Lately, I’ve had a lot of issues with black metal as a whole. I am not alone in this. Even the ultimately reliable and excellent Taake kind of disappointed me this year. I’m not a post-black metal kind of guy and yet, for the life of me, I can’t find any black metal bands that really fucking rule these days. It’s like the scene just up and left the area I was inhabiting.
But as I was digging through my promo folder, I found this Winterus disc. I remember it because it stood out due to a very fine Christophe logo on the front. But for whatever I just passed it over and really forgot about it. In any case, In Carbon Mysticism is functionally an EP, in my opinion. It has 6 studio tracks of varying production quality (it seems like they were recorded at different times from the sounds of it) and three live tracks. The tracks are really in the tradition of Immortal or Taake or the mighty Windir with the traditional Norwegian styles of picking and tendencies towards the melodic. However, there’s a bit of a depressive undertone and atmosphere (insert reverb here… there… EVERYWHERE!) that exists throughout the American scene right now and that works really well here.
One of the things that makes this record so refreshing is that the tracks are fucking short. The longest song “Christ Reign” (one of the three live tracks that finish up the disc) is 5 minutes and four seconds long. That is so amazing. In a scene that has taken to navel gazing and Agalloch worshipping, Winterus skips the bullshit and keeps things concise and well-written. And did I mention it was well-written? Yeah, it is. The melodies are catchy and interesting and surprisingly fresh, given their genre and influences. While the band isn’t destroying the boundaries of their genre (in fact, they’re sticking well within them intentionally), they are doing what they’re doing so well that I really sat up and took notice.
So yeah, while this record has its flaws (mediocre and weird production things and triggered drums), I still think that Winterus has a ton of potential. The music contained within In Carbon Mysticism speaks highly of these Michiganders’ potential. I look forward to what 2012 or 2013 might bring from these guys and strongly encourage you to have a listen. Black metal might not be all that exciting, but Winterus deserves some attention.