The Other Side Of Fear
AUTHOR: Benedetta Baldin
The sophomore album by German band KINGS WINTER called “The Other Side Of Fear” will be released on January 28th, but of course here at Female Fronted Power you will read its review ahead of the release date. And first of all, I would like to praise the wonderful cover, done by none other than the talented Gogo Melone.
Then, let’s move on to analyze the album a little deeper. The production, mixing and mastering of the record are done almost flawlessly, where each instrument has its rightful place and does not overtake the others. This might seem not much important, but as a listener first and a reviewer second, I profoundly appreciate when a band decides to put the effort not only in the composing aspect, but in the final result as well.
KINGS WINTER have a multitude of influences in their tracks, but the main one definitely has to be NWBHM. This is the reason why the rich and scratchy voice of Jule Dahs works so well, and when it’s combined with the powerful growl of Christian Schmitz, it works even better. She has a lot of expressiveness in her voice and I think that the band could rely on her potential even more.
The guitars, by Schmitz and co-founder Tobias Dahs, are well executed; the guitar solos in the album exhibit a competent level of skill without reaching the heights of extraordinariness. While they may not stand out as remarkable, they also do not fall into the realm of mediocrity.
The best ones, in my opinion, are to be found in “Destroyer Of Worlds”, “Sonic Thunderstorm” and “The Darkness Within”. The rest of the rhythmic section is also to be praised, contributing to the overall musicality of the album in a satisfactory manner.
A different chapter is to be told about the songs themselves. The album’s melodies, while initially appearing as engaging, tend to become repetitive after a few songs, resulting in a sense of musical monotony. As the listening goes on, it becomes apparent that the songs lack a distinct individual identity, blurring into a cohesive yet somewhat indistinct mass. This may leave listeners to desire more diversity and a clearer sense of each song’s unique character.
We are all for uniformity and cohesion: the consistency in style and tone throughout the album allows every artist to express their unique vision without compromising their established image. However, it’s crucial to note that while this adherence to a particular sound adds a commendable stability to the album, there’s a fine line between cohesion and monotony. I think they should be wary not to exceed this boundary, ensuring that future projects continue to evolve while preserving the essence that makes their music so compelling. Striking a balance between consistency and innovation will undoubtedly contribute to the longevity and impact of their artistic endeavors.
I stumbled upon something that fascinated me: in the title track (which is a single already released), Jule sings: “Just one life / Just one try”, which struck with me because the same line can be found in the song that gives the name to Finnish super group The Dark Element. And if this was a quote to that wonderful band, I am appreciating this album even more.
In conclusion, “The Other Side Of Fear” demonstrates KINGS WINTER‘s commendable effort in delivering a product of overall quality. While acknowledging their dedication to the craft, it’s evident that the primary area for improvement lies in the realm of melodies. However, for enthusiasts of NWBHM, the album remains a worthwhile experience and will appeal greatly to them, showcasing the band’s potential and leaving room for anticipation of future developments in their musical journey.