Windswept – The Great Cold Steppe (Review)

WindsweptWindswept are a Ukrainian black metal band and this is their debut album.

Created by the same talented individuals behind Drudkh, Windswept play black metal that’s harsh and raw, channelling the elemental power of nature into their chosen musical style.

The character of Windswept can be said to be a mixture of old and newer styles of black metal.

The band take the furious aggression of black metal’s early days and forge it anew in the fires of modern atmospheric black metal, although the former dominates proceedings to be sure. The resulting songs make the most of both worlds; the blasting fervour of the second wave is omnipresent, subtly enhanced by the emotive darkness that modern atmospheric blackness does so well.

The Great Cold Steppe takes influence from the unforgiving natural world, with the album mirroring this by being equally unforgiving. The music uses speed and icy melodies to portray its theme, conjuring images of frosted winter environments and dangerous climes.

Unrelenting in its single-minded purpose and confident in its depiction of violent nature, Windswept do their source inspiration justice and The Great Cold Steppe faithfully evokes images of blizzards and freezing landscapes in which the listener suddenly finds themselves stranded upon pressing play. With no hope of rescue and little chance of survival, the music closes in on the hapless listener, ready to eradicate any trace of the weak, pathetic human that has dared to brave the wide empty plains.

If you can survive your encounter with it, this album is extremely enjoyable and enriching. What doesn’t kill you…and all that…

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