Black Clouds in Twin Galaxies

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Some bands choose names that are quite misleading. That's fine if the band wants to be ironic (Barenaked Ladies, for example), but in some cases, bands come up with names based on what they think they sound like or wish they sounded like instead of what they actually sound like. Winters, however, is a band with a very appropriate name; Black Clouds in Twin Galaxies, their first full-length album, really does sound like a dark, cloudy, bleak winter day. This British outfit essentially falls into the doom metal category, and Black Clouds in Twin Galaxies maintains a dark, melancholy, pessimistic outlook. Of course, dark lyrics are to be expected in doom metal, which has been influenced by Black Sabbath more than any other band. Winters' sound owes a lot to Sabbath, but they have many other influences as well -- and those influences range from British psychedelic bands of the '60s and '70s (Pink Floyd, Iron Butterfly, late-period Beatles) to Nirvana and the Melvins. Some have described this 41-minute CD (which is hard rocking but consistently melodic and never flat-out brutal) as stoner rock, which is slightly inaccurate. There is, to be sure, a very thin line between doom metal and stoner rock (both are totally obsessed with Sabbath), just as there can be a very thin line between soca and calypso, death metal and black metal, or zydeco and Cajun. Doom metal and stoner rock can easily overlap, but while doom wears its sadness like a badge of honor, stoner rock has more of a tripped-out, hippie-ish "let's party, dude" perspective -- and Black Clouds in Twin Galaxies is much too sorrowful to be called party music. It is also a well-crafted and enjoyable outing from these British doom metallers.

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