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Melodic death metal appears to be going through some sort of revival, with legacy acts such as Dark Tranquility and At the Gates getting a new surge of interest, powerhouses Omnium Gatherum and Insomnium making waves, and young upstarts in bands such as Whispered or Enshine enjoying attention. Vintersea is another entrant in the vibrant scene of younger melodic bands.

The Oregon-based band’s second release, The Gravity of Fall, and first since their name change from Asterion, has a Scandinavian flavour to their sound, channeling the likes of Dark Tranquility, and Barren Earth, but infusing it with a distinctly Pacific sound reminiscent of Agalloch and other more progressive moods. The dark and razor edged sound that Swedish bands tend to create is there, mixed with a gloomier and rainier sonic quality, especially on tracks such as “Skies Set Ablaze”. Meanwhile, songs such as “The Host” are faster paced and heavier, and the title track goes through several different moods before culminating in a desperate-sounding finale. Vocalist, Avienne, makes use of clean sung vocals and impactful growls in equal measure, often transitioning seamlessly from low growls to higher ones and back again within the same phrase, such as on “The Holy Procession” or “Skies Set Ablaze”. The mix has a more organic feeling to it, not sounding too polished or over-shined. It comes closer to black metal in places rather than melodic death metal, most notably on the aforementioned “Skies Set Ablaze”.

-Kevin Zecchel

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The band has this to say about the songs on their album.

1. Arise
“Arise” sets up the album by reminding us of where we came from. It represents the dark ages, prior to the advent of technology and the explosion of the industrial revolution.

2. The Host
As humanity races toward innovation and invention, we often forget about the power and importance of the earth beneath our feet. Every now and again, the world wakes up to remind us. “The Host” is one of the oldest songs on the record, having roots in music that Jorma Spaziano [lead guitar] wrote prior to the formation of the band.

3. Entities
In the quest for power and creation, people don't always do what is best for themselves. Self-destruction is a prevalent theme on this album, and “Entities” is the first track that
really explores the consequences of doing what we think is exciting.

4. Skies Set Ablaze
The full weight of humanity's lust for power finally comes to light on this track, which was the last song finished for The Gravity of Fall. As civilizations begins to militarize and destroy one another, innovation turns to violence and the spark of creation becomes lost in overwhelming force.

5. The Holy Procession
The Holy Procession was one of the first songs Vintersea wrote as a band, and covers large swathe of emotional ground. In the wake of widespread panic comes zealots and strongmen who seek to control through promises of peace and comfort at the price of individuality and decency.

6. The Gravity of Fall
As the title track of the album, “The Gravity of Fall” occupies a very important position in our concept. Fear, hate, and zealotry has lain the groundwork for a societal collapse, and the
pressures reach unsustainability in this song.

7. Crevasse
In many ways, “Crevasse” is the song that the rest of the album has been building for. Split into three distinct sections, “Crevasse” explores the emotional complexity and consequences of a failed social structure. The first few minutes of the song represent a calm before the storm, as we reflect on what could have been and where we went wrong. Finally, the ground gives out from under us and we are left with intense violence and devastation.

8. Embers
As the last of civilizations' light dies, what remains of humanity returns to a life without technology but also without corruption. This song expands on the theme first presented in 'Arise', and represents reflection on where we went wrong.

9. Twinleaf
The Twinleaf is one of the first plants that sprouts from the snow, and this song fits that bill. Despite grand levels of destruction and many failures, humanity still has a spark of life, and there is hope that it could spring forth again.

10. Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake is meant to be a reflective track, in which people have returned to a more simple way of living their lives, with the hope that we may be able to get it right the next time.

The Gravity of Fall will be released this upcoming Friday, January 20th. Follow Vintersea on Facebook.

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