© 2003 Chophouse Records
Winterlong-Second Coming
            © 2003 Lion Music
After a few albums that really didn't interest  me much, here comes the self titled album featuring the original lineup and former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted. Knowing that the lineup was back and that Newsted was the icing on the cake in this release, I was definitely excited to hear it.  The band sound really good. I remember loving the album 'The Outer Limits' some years back. The band really had embraced the 'Space Rock' sound and this album kind of takes on the bands unique sound as well. This isn't however just a clone of previous work, but more of an extension. The album really has a lot of content as well. When I say content I do mean tracks. There are 13 total and all of them are pretty damn good. I was actually able to catch the bands first video for 'We Carry On'  which is also the closing track on the album on the Headbanger's Ball a few weeks back. It's a pretty good example of what to expect on the album. Anyway, the music is very good and really embraces that Voivod sound that the bands fans have embraced for a long time. Some of my personal favorites include 'Gasmask Revival', 'Blame Us', 'Rebel Robot', 'We Carry On', and 'I Don't Wanna Wake Up'.

Fans of earlier Voivod material will probably like this release. It is definitely a lot different than more recent efforts such as 'Negatron' which I personally didn't care much for. The music is pretty consistent in quality throughout. I anticipated and the band delivered! Good stuff!
One of the most improved bands this year definitely has to be Lion M usic artist Winterlong. Not that the bands previous release wasn't any good, because it was. This album just has a far superior feel to it in the way it is presented. New vocalist  Mikael Holm really adds a lot to the mix in my opinion and is probably the best change in the sound. He has a powerful set of vocal chords and really gets the job done. It is also noteworthy to mention that Anders Johansson from Hammerfall and Andreas Lill from Vanden Plas hadle drum duties and anyone with the know is already familiar with these to amazing talents. Thorbjorn Englund is back for the second release and really is the core of the band. The music has a pretty clear direction and a solid sound that fans of melodic power metal are sure to embrace. The guitarwork is great as usual, but the album as a whole offers more of a musical journey. Take for instance tracks like 'Northman' or 'Wild Winter Nights'. Good atmosphere without losing the edge. Some of my other favorites include 'Locking Up The Gates', 'Retaliation', 'In Worlds Of Illusions', and 'Messiah'. The band have definitely progressed forward with a very good effort.

As mentioned before, this release is a big jump forward from 'Valley Of The Lost'. While that debut album was good, this album enters the big leagues of metal and make a statement that this band is in it for the long run and the sky is the limit. Very good release.