It's always cool when a band makes a significant stylistic leap between albums. Such was the case with Winter's Embrace, the record that finally launched To Cast A Shadow from gothic metal also-rans into a truly powerful musical force. The bands powerful new male vocals (As opposed to the traditional female) are reminiscent of Katatonia and the general approach to songwriting, with its darker, more introspective take on the genre is delicious. Longtime fans need not worry - there ARE indeed a few moments of female vocals on this record to. Overall this album reminds us that To Cast A Shadow are stellar songwriters who have managed to take some standard tropes and turn it into something epic.
The lyrics themselves stand as a powerful contribution to what the ban dhas been able to craft here. They add a crucial layer to the musi that I think not enough of the groups peers are going to appreciate. See - Winter's Embrace captures my imagination not just with its powerful soundscapes, but the way that t communicates a sense of melancholy an despair that is wonderfully human. It is an album that speaks to the spirit and reminds us that through the sorrow and extinction we can do nothing more but to persist. Winter's Embrace is exactly that - a reassuring comfort from the darkest throes of the night.
Winter's Embrace blazes forth with a sort of understated passion. A reminder that even as we trudge through the night there will be times when we don' know what to do and we need to let the dark envelop us. The bands powerful compositions are a step beyond anything they have done before and they sweep you off your feet. While there certainly are a handful of standout tracks this album really becomes valuable when you listen to it in its entirety and fully embrace all that it has come to mean, for all of us.
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