Finally, after 6 years of existence and 4 self-released full-length albums, Appalachian Winter have signed to the newly established label Nine Gates Records, in order to properly release on March 2013 their new work, the fifth full-length album “Ghosts of the Mountains“. Since its inception, Appalachian Winter has been the personal project of Daniel George Klyne, who composes and performs everything in this album too.
Appalachian Winter play epic symphonic black metal, but already since their early works, their sound was much more complex, experimenting with other genres too. As expected, the new album becomes even more versatile and really hard to categorize. I can listen to many different genres, including country music, acoustic folk, classical music, atmospheric soundtrack music, epic symphonic music and many more! Of course the basis of the band is guitars and symphonic synths, but the overall result is something much more than just symphonic black metal! There are many non-metal parts in the album and many changes in tempo and atmosphere, but the compositions are so good that manage to unify all these theoretically incompatible genres into a very tight album. D.G. Klyne’s vocals move again between black metal screams and expressive powerful clean vocals, sometimes with an epic power mood and other times with an almost operatic approach, while there also a few choral parts. “Ghosts of the Mountains” contains 9 songs with a total duration of 51 minutes and is for sure the band’s most complete and ambitious work so far. Each song stands on its own, being different from the others, but they all form a very solid album. D.G. Klyne’s music was always inspired by his homeland, Schellsburg in Pennsylvania and the wild beauty of Appalachian Mountains. He dedicates this album to “those who found the setting of these mountains a perfect place to make history, even if their names are lost forever“. His lyrics apparently deal with Appalachian nature, speaking about local tales and historic events.
Overall, I find Appalachian Winter a very interesting band for those who like symphonic black metal with acoustic folk and epic metal influences. They have a very personal and distinctive sound and my only hope is to listen to a “cleaner” production from them in the future. “Ghosts of the Mountains” is available for free download on their official pages, like all of their previous works, something that D.G. Klyne totally supports! This time though, the album is also released in physical official CD by Nine Gates Records. It comes in a digipak edition, with a 4-page booklet, including the lyrics.