Hailing from Siberia in Russia, Symphonic Black Metal band WelicoRuss deliver the kind of musical experience you would expect from a place synonymous with austere beauty and bitter cold. The first thing the listener will note is that Wintermoon Symphony is executed with a high level of precision. Any band that labels themselves “symphonic” had better be able to play their instruments and WelicoRuss do not let the listener down. Main man Alexey Boganov (guitars, vocals) and his mates are quite accomplished and list “WelicoRuss” as their occupation on the band’s website, so you know they are dedicated to their craft. The production is razor-sharp and Wintermoon Symphony leaves the listener with a cold, antiseptic feeling after listening, like washing with pure alcohol.
Highpoints of production and performance aside, I have trouble liking Wintermoon Symphony. No, “liking” isn’t the right word, it’s “getting into” that I’m looking for here. I’ve listened to the album multiple times over the last couple of weeks and nothing is sticking. I play the album and find myself wondering, when it’s all over, what I just listened to. While it’s on, it’s fine, but there’s nothing that makes me want to go back and listen again. Maybe it’s the “symphonic” tracks like “Silence” or “Siberia.” Don’t get me wrong, these songs are majestic and beautiful, but they are the type of music you expect to hear while watching a movie. You know those scenes where the view is from the air while flying over snow-capped mountains? You get the idea. And this isn’t incidental music, these are full length songs and frankly, they interrupt the flow of the album quite a bit. Otherwise, the rest of the songs are fairly generic Black Metal with both clean male and female vocals mixed in with Boganov’s raspy growls.
I wanted to like Wintermoon Symphony more, but it just isn’t very engaging. It is played extremely well and I have no doubt WelicoRuss can do better, but time will tell.