Six years is an eternity in metal years. Entire trends rise and die off in a mere half-decade with a fair amount of consistency. In the interim since Vesperian Sorrow released 2006's acclaimed Regenesis Creation, other high profile symphonic black metal bands like Abigail Williams have not only captured the zeitgeist, but gone on to release several albums themselves within that six year gap.
To add to those hurdles to be overcome, Vesperian Sorrow – while well regarded among those in the know – aren't exactly the household names fellow Austin BM'ers Averse Sefira are (were… RIP). In any other genre six years off would be a death sentence, but headbangers are a fiercely loyal bunch, and as if in direct reward for our patience Stormwinds of Ages bestows upon us a bona fide masterpiece.
The production alone vaults the album head and shoulders above most albums released this year, which is all the more remarkable considering the band recorded, mixed and mastered it themselves in their own Amplitude Media Studios. Of course, a glossy finish wouldn't mean shit if the songs weren't there, but from bombastic synth-epics ("Crown of Glass", "Death She Cried") to propulsive brutality ("Legacies Befallen", "An Empire to Mourn") these six guys cram six fucking years of pent up creativity into a blistering 60 minutes (6-6-60 is the exponent of the Beast).
Stormwinds of Ages is out now on The Path Less Traveled.