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Winter Calling won’t appeal to everyone, but they do scratch a certain itch

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WC_Group_1500x1012_BlakeCortesSome bands set the whole world on fire with their music. Others, like Tampa’s Winter Calling, appeal to a particular sort of music fan, but do it in a way that in a way makes you wish you loved that type of music more so you could share in that joy.

Winter Calling’s new album “As Darkness Falls” takes a page from Linkin Park, a page from Queensryche and one from Dream Theater, mostly, with some sprinkles of other influential prog rock bands mixed in, also.

What that means for you, the average music fan, is that if you’re into that type of music, you’ll also dig Winter Calling. If you’re not, though, these guys probably won’t do much to change your mind.

Full disclosure, I’m not the biggest fan of that kind of music. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it as feverishly as some people do. That’s not taking anything away from this type of music, it’s just not my cup of tea.

Be that as it may, I can recognize talent when I hear it, and these guys have it. Overall this album is clean, heavy and catchy. Some of the highlights for me include “Self Righteous Parade,” “A World I Can Feel,” and the instrumental track “108.”

“A World I Can Feel” starts with some haunting piano licks and a soft chanting before walloping into the meat and potatoes of the song. The chanting section of the chorus makes this great head-banging music, too.

“Self Righteous Parade” is probably the most radio-ready of all the tracks, with the standard guitar intro and the elements you’d expect to hear from a band such as this one. That said, they execute these elements nicely. It’s also probably the most Linkin Park-ey song on the album.

Then, finally, I’d argue that “108” is the most interesting track on the album. It starts out spooky and sprouts into a heavy metal dish. At about :54, though, whereas you’d expect the lyrics to come in, it instead shifts it’s instrumental tone. It’s got that early Metallica vibe to it, too, which is nice.

The song works because of the interesting choices it takes with the melody. By the time the song is halfway over, you don’t even really realize it’s an instrumental track because it keeps your attention. As it then switches to an acoustic tone around 3 minutes in, I found myself getting lost in the spooky mood that works as the song’s foundation. My favorite part of the song, though has to come around 4 minutes in when the tone switches yet again, this time taking the song into an almost “Sketches of Spain” Miles Davis type direction, loosely.

If these guys recorded an entire album of instrumental work I might be more interested in hearing that as opposed to the prototypical prog rock stuff they’re doing on the rest of this album. Which, again, likely appeals to lots of people aside from myself.

At any rate, check out Winter Calling. They’re a pretty cool indie group.

You can find more on the band on Soundcloud, Facebook, and YouTube.

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