Weekly Wretched: Windswept - The Great Cold Steppe
Windswept debuted their dark, high energy new album The Great Cold Steppe this past Friday, and it's gotta be one of the finer black metal albums I've come across in the past few years. If you're familiar with Drudkh or some of the other projects that Roman Sayenko is behind, you should certainly be excited that Sayenko is back with an all new project and an album that kicks a lot of ass and certainly deserves to put the Windswept name on the map in the black metal community.
The Great Cold Steppe is a devastating and raw six track masterpiece that explores the boundaries that Drudkh pushes, but certainly stands out on its own. The harsh and bitter cold winters of Ukraine are brought into your own home by listening to The Great Cold Steppe, and the album does a perfect job of not only painting a picture but like I said, feeling it, which is a whole different sensation. From the beginning, the first track "Black Horizon is the Gates of a Blizzard" introduces you to the sounds and harsh reality of the the Eastern winters just before unleashing the cold-touched metal in all its glory. I'm not entirely sure who is behind all of the musicianship work on the album or if it was all done by Sayenko himself, but the talent and work that was put into writing it shows when you can feel what it is the band are trying to portray. The new atmospheric black metal album takes elements from the genre that we're all familiar with and completely makes it their own, on songs such as "The Stars Are Cold and Indifferent, Sow Their Gleaming Ashes" and "A Spiteful Wind Buries All The Lonely Whispers." Sure, to some the long titles may seem unnecessary and tacky, but give the song one honest listen and any other song title just won't seem as fitting; trust me.
The Great Cold Steppe is definitely an album for fans of the genre and isn't some revolutionary album meant to turn your everyday person into a black metal fan, but it's perfect the way that it is in its harsh tones, relentless pounding and crushing guitar tones. If you love atmospheric metal and music that puts you in the time and place of where it was conceived, don't miss a chance to give Windswept an honest listen. The production of the album is great, clean, and clear - which I can appreciate both from a black metal fan standpoint: I love the raw and dirty albums that sound like they were recorded in an outhouse in the middle of the woods, but Roman Sayenko definitely put in some quality work on this one to make sure it sounded fucking great. Like I mentioned earlier, it's one of the finer black metal albums to come out in recent years: it tells an epic story and will leave you begging for the warmer months to come.
Check out the stream below of the song "Blinding and Bottomless Abyss Is Howling" from The Great Cold Steppe below, and if you dig what you hear, be sure to grab a copy of the album!