The Howling Wind

Into the Cryosphere

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Into the Cryosphere is the second full-length CD by the Howling Wind, a black metal studio project featuring Ryan Lipynsky of Unearthly Trance on guitar, bass, and vocals, and "Parasitus Nex" on drums. Their sound is somewhat similar to Nachtmystium's middle-period material -- the total prog rock experimentation of an album like Assassins: Black Meddle, Pt. 1 is not present, but the mix of black metal blare and post-punk throb is. Lipynsky's guitar work is quite technically skilled, occasionally heading into the dissonant, even disorienting territory heard on Krallice's two albums, and "Impossible Eternity" features some psychedelic effects, in addition to creepy chanted vocals in the background of the mix. Nex's drumming is sometimes rudimentary, but at other times, his patient timekeeping is more effective than a showier performer would have been. This is an album that demands to be heard as a single half-hour suite rather than a collection of discrete songs. Its power builds over time, from the slow, incremental first track "The Seething Wrath of a Frigid Soul," through a series of similar but complementary pieces and cresting with "Impossible Eternity." The album's final track, "A Dead Galaxy Mirrored in an Icy Mirage," uses waves of noise and raging aggression to bring the listener out of the desolate mood created over the course of the previous six pieces, ultimately releasing him or her back into the world, head spinning.

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