Album Review – Vintersea / Woven Into Ashes (2023)

This Extreme Progressive Metal act from Portland, Oregon is back with their fantastic third full-length opus, once again inspired by the majesty of the Pacific Northwest.

Combining the essential parts of many genres into a melodic brand of metal that is undeniably inspired by the majesty of the Pacific Northwest, Portland, Oregon-based Extreme Progressive Metal act Vintersea is back with their third full-length effort, entitled Woven Into Ashes, the follow-up to their 2019 critically acclaimed album Illuminated. Engineered by Gabe Johnston at Falcon Recording Studio, mixed by Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland at Atrium Audio, mastered by Troy Glessner at Spectre Studios, and displaying a stylish artwork by Xenoyr (of Ne Obliviscaris), the album once again offers our avid ears the heavy, emotionally powerful and technically intriguing creations by frontwoman Avienne Low, guitarists Jorma Spaziano and Riley Nix, bassist Karl Whinnery and drummer Jeremy Spencer, representing a significant step forward in the band’s already solid career.

Vintersea have definitely learned how to master the art of progressive and experimental sounds, and that’s already crystal clear from the very first second in Unveiling Light, with Jorma and Riley delivering sheer intricacy and groove from their guitars, therefore exploding into a vibrant Melodic Black Metal aria, whereas Jeremy hammers his drums in the name of extreme music in Devil’s Churn, providing Avienne with exactly what she needs to deliver her deep, enraged she-wolf screams, sounding even more progressive than the opening tune due to its Groove Metal elements. Then get ready for eight minutes of ethereal passages, endless heaviness and obscurity, and a humongous dosage of intricacy in Crescent Eclipse, with Avienne again stealing the spotlight with her mesmerizing clean vocals and her infernal roars; and a demonic growl by Avienne kicks off the thunderous At The Gloaming Void, with Karl’s bass and Jeremy’s beats making the earth tremble, or in other words, it’s Progressive Death and Black Metal at its finest.

As if the band decided to begin a new chapter in the “book” of Woven Into Ashes, they invest in a much more cadenced, melodic sound in Parallel Duality, and the song also seems to be split in two parts depending on the vocal style used by Avienne. Lonesome Tide is another song with a more delicate start, quickly morphing into another Progressive Black Metal onrush by the band with Jorma and Riley doing an amazing job with both their caustic riffs and gentle acoustic guitars; and it’s then time for a dark ballad titled Into the Horizon, a solid creation by the band albeit not as vibrant or multi-layered as the rest of the album. Avienne has a charming performance on vocals as usual, though. Finally, the band brings forth a nine minute feast of delicate sounds, progressiveness and melancholy titled No Tomorrow, with Jeremy dictating the song’s pace while Avienne roars to the piercing riffs by the band’s guitar duo, ending the album on a very climatic mode.

The talented Avienne and her unstoppable henchmen are waiting for your feedback about their stunning creations on Facebook and on Instagram, and don’t forget to also subscribe to their YouTube channel and to stream more of their classy compositions on Spotify. The versatile and dynamic Woven Into Ashes, which is available for purchase from their own BandCamp page, as well as from the M-Theory Audio webstore as a digipack CD or as a colored vinyl (or click HERE for all things related to the band and the album), will undoubtedly help Vintersea reach new heights in their awesome career, as it’s not only their strongest effort to date, but also a must-listen for any fans of the fusion of progressiveness and sheer heaviness. Furthermore, the band is just about to embark on a sensational tour with Eleine, Oceans of Slumber and the almighty Moonspell, and I’m beyond certain they’ll play songs from their new album. Having said that, what are you waiting for to grab your tickets for such amazing event in your city?

Best moments of the album: Devil’s Churn, At The Gloaming Void and Lonesome Tide.

Worst moments of the album: Into the Horizon.

Released in 2023 M-Theory Audio

Track listing
1. Unveiling Light 5:22
2. Devil’s Churn 6:09
3. Crescent Eclipse 7:43
4. At The Gloaming Void 5:31
5. Parallel Duality 7:12
6. Lonesome Tide 6:04
7. Into the Horizon 3:51
8. No Tomorrow 8:49

Band members
Avienne Low – vocals
Jorma Spaziano – guitars
Riley Nix – guitars, backing vocals
Karl Whinnery – bass
Jeremy Spencer – drums


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