Review: Winter Calling – “As Darkness Falls”


One giant pitfall many young bands fall into when starting out is becoming too much like their Winter-Callinginfluences. Of course, most bands sound like someone or something we’ve heard before, but the strands of originality slipped into the mix is what winds up mattering most.

With Winter Calling, it doesn’t take much time to discover that the Florida-based quartet have a deep appreciation for progressive metal and slick production capable of keeping the instrumentation clearer than some of the darker lyrics. And then there are the vocal gymnastics executed by vocalist Chris Hodges – whoa!

What’s extra impressive here is the controlled ambition. When a band pursues this style of music, it’s really easy to employ the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink strategy and layer sonic elements to the ceiling. But on As Darkness Falls, Winter Calling has kept itself in check, all the while attempting to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with progressive metal bands that have come before it.

Sure, not all moments here are as heavy as the head-banging contingent would hope for, but interestingly it’s the quieter points on this album that are almost more gripping. As opposed to propping up and hanging out by a wall of noise and pretentiousness, Winter Calling have made a big step toward sunnier, warmer avenues.

-Adam Grant

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