Winter Into Darkness

Originally released in 1990 on indie Future Shock, Long Island, NY's Winter debuted on the then-nascent doom scene with the proto-gravity of Into Darkness. The label then folded and Nuclear Blast included Winter on the Death Is Just the Beginning Vol. II compilation in 1992 with the ultra-bleak "Oppression Freedom," a real head-turner, as it closed out the album and served as the sonic opposite of the mostly death metal bands featured. NB then re-released Into Darkness, its monolithic nature defining the death/doom subgenre. Their final release came in 1994 (the Eternal Frost EP) before the band called it quits. NB then re-released both the LP and EP as a digipak in 1999, and now Into Darkness alone gets a third lease on life at the hands of Southern Lord, in conjunction with Winter's upcoming reunion gigs. A classic album in every sense, Into Darkness displays the proto-doom gravity of a band woefully underappreciated in their day. "Servants of the Warsmen" and "Destiny" carve deep Celtic Frost grooves, and bassist John Alman's fathomless death growls awaken frightening images of bloodthirsty ice demons in the subconscious. "Goden" slows the pace down even more to a snail's crawl, and "Eternal Frost" plods along like the aftermath of a nuclear winter. Extremely influential to modern death-doomers Coffins and the like, Winter provides chillingly austere doom for fans of vintage Cathedral and Autopsy. Thanks to Southern Lord, Into Darkness won't be forgotten. (Southern Lord)