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Winter's Verge: The Ballad Of James Tig
Winter's Verge - The Ballad Of James Tig Album Art

Winter's Verge: The Ballad Of James Tig

Symphonic Metal
3.5/5.0

Though I have not heard from Winter's Verge since 2012's Beyond Vengeance, the Cyprian band has continued to be active in the European metal underground. Two releases followed: 2015's IV and 2017's Wolves Of Tiberon, resulting in various festival appearances. Now the sextet returns with their seventh studio album, The Ballad Of James Tig, featuring new guitarists Deniel Pavlovskiy and Savvas Parperi.

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Winter's Verge

As with past albums, The Ballad Of James Tig is a concept album based in Winter's Verge fictional universe of Tiberon. With lyrics from local author and playwright Frixos Masouras, the story is about James Tig who, as a young boy, lost his family at sea to the legendary sea monster Killagorak. Now, as a man, he seeks revenge, hoping to kill the beast. The story is told in the context of Winter Verge's melodic and symphonic metal, featuring symphonic synths, dense riffage, sometimes bombastic and steady rhythm section, and vocal storytelling. There's little variation from this formula, but perhaps some songs require mention.

You'll find a bit of power metal gallop mixed with the strong symphonic presence within A Thousand Souls. Otherwise, most songs are simply heavy, dense, and highly orchestrated. Additionally, several song feature a female character named Nina, portrayed by Magic Of The North vocalist Teodora Stoyanova Freya. The most notable is the delightful symphonic ballad, Timeless. The album finishes with Ballad Of James Tig, essentially a bard's tale wrapped up in acoustic folk music.

While the musical formula borders on redundant predictability, I had an additional difficulty with this promo package. The Ballad Of James Tig is telling a tale, which means lyrics are just as important as the music. I was provided with no lyric sheet to follow the story, and so I could not really understand what was transpiring. (The lack of lyrics being supplied in promo packages continues to be a huge problem for reviewers.) I suspect the lyrics will be included with the CD digipak.

Nevertheless, for a large platter of conceptual traditional and symphonic metal, Winter's Verge and The Ballad Of James Tig offers some fine storytelling. Check them out and support the band!




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The Bottom Line

For a large platter of conceptual traditional and symphonic metal, Winter's Verge and The Ballad Of James Tig offers some fine storytelling. Check them out and support the band!

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