"The Fall of Rome"

(Metal Blade)

01. Following Caligula
02. Calibrate the Virus
03. Watcher
04. Courtesy Bow
05. The Fall of Rome
06. Malice In Wonderland
07. 55/23
08. The Hampton Roads Fourth Annual Parade of the Blind
09. To the Nines
10. L'aeroport

RATING: 4/10

With a riff straight out of the AT THE GATES reject pile, Virginia's WINTER SOLSTICE doggedly, dogmatically trudge through forty minutes of well-executed, but utterly unoriginal, Swedish-derived thrash. Between these guys and DARKEST HOUR plundering their national treasures, it's a wonder the government in Stockholm doesn't sue for war reparations!

Admittedly, these guys can pull off a decent start-stop breakdown (see just before the three-minute mark in "Calibrate the Virus"). And this is pure new-school thrash, sans keyboards, vocal variation or hit singles, for which I think we're supposed to give the band some scene points for extra credit. But Christ, this is just so formulaic and stale, all the integrity in the world can't save it. Even the mid-album acoustic piece is such a cliché at this point, why bother with it?

"The Fall of Rome" is well-played and sounds heavy enough, and WINTER SOLSTICE clearly have the tools to grow into something interesting, should they decide to start writing some songs with a hint of personality to them. Right now, though, they're mind-numbing, a textbook example of playing it safe, staying in the lines of the genre to please everybody, and ultimately pleasing no one. You just have to bring more to the table than this in 2005.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).