(8/10) It was end of the eighties when I heard New Model Army for the first time. It was on almost endless rotation every weekend in the local underground club and I can't say how often they played "51st State" and "Vagabonds". Especially the latter was a real smasher that made the people go wild and both songs still belong to the best ones Justin Sullivan ever wrote.
Since that moment in time I'm following the band that release many more records, without having any real disappointment in their discography. New Model Army found their special niche and created a sound that can be identified immediately as being from Sullivan and Co.
The new album is preparing the listener for the coming winter period, even though it feels something that's far away while sitting with 35 degrees Celsius. "Winter" starts with the epic "Beginning", a slow seven minutes long opener that acts like a well-chosen introduction. It's an intensive piece of music that slowly builds up and becomes more and more voluminous along the the way.
The title track is another highlight on the album, starting with the typical New Model Army acoustic guitar and Sullivan's unique phrased vocallines. "Eyes Get Used to the Darkness" instead is a dark anthem that is build on a faster pace before "Drifts" takes over, being a tune with a lot of emotional depth. I think it's the most moving track on the album with almost desperate screams in the chorus. In case you're looking for a more atmospheric moment, "Winter" can offer "Born Feral" which becomes quite sphereful towards the end.
"Winter" is an typical New Model Army album that contains all trademarks the band stands for. Still Sullivan and bandmates create enough dynamic and variations to keep things entertaining and fresh. It's a great album of a band that belongs to the keyplayers in post-punk/folk/dark rock. Thumbs up and it seems to be become a good 'winter'.
- Burn the Castle
- Part the Waters
- Eyes Get Used to the Darkness
- Born Feral
- Die Trying
- Echo November
- Weak and Strong
- After Something
Release Date EU: August 26th, 2016