Well, I had wanted to hear it, and here it is! It arrived in the mail a few days ago. Dark Winter sent me their newest effort, their EP entitled Amidst the Winterplague. It's a fine record, and the songs are lengthy, so even though there are only 3 tracks here, it clocks in around 20 minutes. Musically, the band has tightened their approach and gone for an even more raw sound on their recording. I think the vocals could be lower in the mix, and the guitars higher, but that's just my taste. The drums have a nice live, acoustic sound, but still very raw, which immediately grabbed my attention due to the complete lack of that sound in metal today outside of obscure demo recordings. These guys have real guts for staying lo-fi in an age of easy-to-achieve flowery productions. The dirt in the sound adds to the appeal of the music. As far as individual songs, the track that stands out to me instantly is the first one, the title track of the EP. All I have to say is those riffs! The song is written well, arranged well, and is top notch all around. I must say this again: these guys remind me of black metal circa 1995, back when it blew up big, and all the Norwegian and mainland European bands gained popularity. The thing back then in Europe, at least that I encountered, was raw melodic black metal, with keyboards or without. I'm still very much reminded of that scene by Dark Winter, and that's not a bad thing. These days, that scene doesn't really exist, and Dark Winter stands out because of it. I can't wait to hear what these guys do next, because if this is any indication of the progression I will hear from recording to recording, I'm in for a treat the next time around. I'm just glad they're from Michigan and I get to follow their activity at a local level. I'll be watching.