It’s somewhat of a shame that it took 20 years to do a proper reissue of an album from a band who is considered to be one of the first death metal bands to come out of the Swedish landscape. But it’s certainly a victory for Relapse to be the one who gives The Wintering its proper due.
One thing you will immediately notice from God Macabre is that there is no time lapse between 1993 and 2014. The music is as relevant now in the extreme metal arena and death dimensions as it was intensely conveyed back in the Dark Ages of metal.
A time when Gothenburg was slowly starting to gain momentum, if The Wintering did not help open the gates to bands like At The Gates then it should have because what God Macabre powers through on these songs are influential, burning through extreme attitude, tempos and riffing that becomes an immediate contendor with the English metal rennaissance and bands like Carcass and Napalm Death.
When you hear a song like “Lost” and the muscle rippling out of these notes, the blast of hardcore sends an electric charge to jumpstart any pit into action. The melodic guitar solo is that downward spiral into the soul of this band and the creep factor, sending the listener into a new form of conscience.
The keys in “Teardrop” make me think of Paradise Lost and suddenly God Macabre feels just as important as any early ‘90s Earache band while having more character than the apocalyptic industrial scene of that time.
Want to know what songs like “Ashes of Mourning Life” sounds like? Chug about 50 red bulls and deadlift 800 pounds. This band is relentless while exhaustion is only an after thought.
Simply put, The Winterlong is essential listening for any metal or hardcore fan.