Sweden did it first. Then the Americans had a go. Now, it is time for the Scots to have a crack at writing hard hitting, string shredding melodeath. Hailing from the same city that yours truly holds as a second home, Exile The Traitor play melodeath with the energy of Darkest Hour and the looming presence of The Black Dahlia Murder in mind. Those are two pretty big names to drop in the first paragraph of a feature but I can truthfully say that this group of my fellow countrymen deserve the comparison. They have just released an EP, Winter Eternal, and it’s grand. Get it, and more, after the jump.
The Black Dahlia Murder influence on Winter Eternal is quite large. The stabbing, melodic riffs that rarely let up are very derivative of earlier Black Dahlia. While the Detroit fan favorites may be moving towards newer sounds, Exile The Traitor are rooted in the balls out, lungs open approach to creating punishing melodeath. Blasts rain down and tremolo picking is abound, but the band come together most appropriately when they knuckle down and inject that fevered harmony into each song. Doing this without sounding entirely like a cover band is commendable, as they do borrow stylistic tropes from the contemporary heavyweights of this subgenre.
Winter Eternal itself is a fifteen minute battering ram of force, passion and tribute. Sticking to your guns can get you into trouble but Exile The Traitor know fine well that they are at their best when giving it hell. Flying the flag for our wee nation proudly, this band are doing a damn fine job.