Yes it's that time again, the heating in our homes are going up as outside the coldness snaps at everything it can, water bodies freeze over, the seasonal colds get there weapons out to attack us with runny noses, and all the icky bits that come with it.
As for our fellow Southern hemisphere followers, it's your summer (lucky sods) and so you'll be eating at Christmas in the basking sunshine, what a strange feeling for us Northern hemisphere folks people, we wonder if you had Christmas on the equator, would you get both seasons? Anyhow focusing back on the metal, we thought it would be best to get the wintry festivities underway and instead of putting up a compilation of just Christmassy metal songs (1. its not Christmas... yet and 2. you can already get CD compilations here, here and here.
So let's open this pit up as Global Metal Apocalypse devours 'Winter Metal' and gives you a selection of songs.
First off we kick with Dutch Symphonic Gothic Metallers Within Temptation, with their song 'shot in the dark', now the reason we chose this song and band is simply due to the emphatic vocals on the song giving that beautiful powerful sound that we can relate to the blizzards that we have had in the past and plus the dark winter nights start early and thus tying in with the song title.
Secondly we move on to Finland with Amberian Dawn and their spine-chilling song 'River Of Tuoni', the song delivers Melodic Power Metal/Operatic Metal with ease and smothers the atmosphere with the beauty found in traditional Finnish winters, cold and graceful. Further on we felt that another Finnish band should be here, Sonata Arctica with their song 'Don't say a word', powerful and yet the keyboards add a little wintry feel to them.
This compilation would not be complete without a band from an obscure metal scene and yet is most loosely-jointed to the theme of this compilation, yet experience the unique sounds of Heavy Metal mixing with the Inuit language as Greenland's Heavy Metal premier band Arctic Spirits deliver seasonal brutality with 'Assiliarsuaq'.
Probably the darkest song on this compilation, hailing from Ipswich, the Military Black Metal mob Eastern Front deliver this cold, bleak and wintry number called 'Blood On Snow' as a testament to the atrocities occurred between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia; sure it's not as merry as previous songs but given due this will leave your ears frostbitten.
Without a doubt, Austria's greatest Gothic Metal band and here we present their song 'metatron' which features very dark and wintry feelings in the music as well as the atmosphere generated from the yodeling-style female vocals. This is a song to rival the shadows cloaking the alpine forests and to take you into a complete sub zero state-of-mind.
We could simply not let this slip our minds, such a beautiful, tranquil and majestic instrumental that would befit anyone celebrating burns night or indeed any Celtic or Pagan traditions, delivering their cleverly produced sound is Eluveitie from the alpine lands of Switzerland (same as Breach The Void), but we felt that this was more apt to include and so therefore we hope you enjoy this track.
So what happens when you mix Chinese melodies with a icy and frosty elemental feel with the norms of European Melodic Death Metal performed by Frosty Eve of China? Simple a winter metal band! This is one of few metal bands who devote their sounds and lyrics to the winter season and yet mix traditional sounds into their music, so on one hand experience the oriental culture and on the other prepare to meet a Frosty Eve.
A dark and bitter cold band from Norway, Gothminister mix eerie electronic industrial elements with Gothic imagery and together they form a sound that is as freezing as the Norwegian fjords at winter, henceforth we decided to include this on our winter metal compilation.
We know how dramatic winter's can be, so why not inject some dramatic metal music into it, sure it's a cover of 'O Fortuna' by German composer Carl Orff. But here is Venezuela's Nota Profana delivering that dramatic sound of metal and classical music combining to create something rather epic.
Latvia's darkest metal band could not escape our selection, enter Preternatural with their cold 'Cryophobia' track, which literally means 'a fear of dying from the cold or winter, or the cold or winter itself', so the reason why it was included is a little self-explanatory.
Another instrumental and yet 'The Northern Lights' by Faroese Folk Metal lads Tyr immerse the atmosphere in a truly Scandinavian feel and thus it's this tie between Scandinavia and the winters they have that we felt this should be there.
Finally we thought we would include this beastly number by Swedish Death Metal horde Unleashed, the song 'midvinterblot' in english means 'midwinter time' and thus refers to the harshest times of the season, ironically when christmas is a-foot and the yule-time is coming to a close before the new year elapses the current year of 2012.
We included a song from each different country here represented; Finland would run away with this for the amount of apt songs they have is sensational.
Global Metal Apocalypse