Massacre Records (2012)
With their first two albums more stock and trade melodic, progressive-oriented power metal efforts, Cyperus’ Winter’s Verge feel it’s time on their third studio output to engage in more outside influences to add some uniqueness to the mix. If that means focusing on simpler grooves both rhythmically and riff-wise, then songs like “Unto The Darkness” and “Bleeding Heart” take into account similarities to current Rage and Symphony X with the trailing guitar squeal bends, lower register vocals and charging grooves.
Don’t fret old timers to the Winter’s Verge cause- keyboardist Stefanos Psillides and guitarist Harry Pari still throw down neo-classical laced solo spots and drummer Chris Ioannides has plenty of double bass kicking that is requisite in power (and progressive) metal. As a vocalist George Charalambous isn’t close to the Ray Alder or Tony Kakko caliber- especially when he reaches for the upper stars in songs like “Dying” or “Threads Of My Life”- he loses strength and becomes too pitchy for the songwriting on hand.
“Beyond Vengeance” strides in a slightly more modern direction for the band- but I don’t know if it’s fully going to attract the broader audience they seek.
Rating: 3.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe