Matt Tarpey: Vocals
JT Turner: Guitar
Caleb Goins: Guitar
Nathan Smith: Bass
Duke Cuneo: Drums
Winter Solstice, a 5 piece hardcore influenced thrash metal outfit located in Lynchburg, VA, began their journey as a band in the fall of 2000. Since the bands inception they have already played with bands such as Underoath, As I Lay Dying, Norma Jean, The Black Dahlia Murder, Bleeding Through, Bury Your Dead, Death By Stereo, It Dies Today, and many, many more. Winter Solstice made their largest debut in the summer of 2004 at the Sonshine festival in Wilmar, MN in front of a vast crowd and received an astonishing response. The band is already confirmed to play the Cornerstone festival in July on the HM Magazine stage, which is a massive step forward for the band. With their new album The Fall of Rome out in March and plenty of tours lined up the band is definitely headed for some extreme recognition in the scene.
What’s different about The Fall of Rome from the bands’ previous work is that they have fine-tuned themselves as musicians and now have a much more mature and focused sound. This is due in part to the bands relentless playing and practice schedule. Winter Solstice has not only improved their playing drastically but has settled into a much more metal/thrashy sound with more flowing breakdowns and heavy parts than previous releases. Winter Solstice wants listeners to walk away with the feeling that they just heard a band that is not only unrelenting and punishing but also has a strong message to bring to their fans. The albums’ title, The Fall of Rome, and the artwork are definitely themed around a specific idea. “The Fall of Rome is a great historical metaphor. There are many both complex and simple comparisons that can be drawn between the Roman Empire, and our own society today. From rise to greatness, to its slow decline, there are so many lessons our society could learn from Ancient Rome. The albums’ layout focuses more specifically on the end of Rome, and it’s similarities to Western culture at the beginning of the 21st century, including the moral depravity, the loss of historical perspective, and the prideful arrogance of both ancient and modern societies. The slow decline of something that was once great and beautiful is so epic, seemed like a great idea for a metal album with a conscience, which is what we set out to write.” states drummer Duke Cuneo.
The Fall of Rome was recorded at Red Planet Studios in Richmond, VA between October 22 and November 12, 2004 and was produced by Andreas Magnusson (of Scarlet) and Winter Solstice. Special guest and label mate Tim Lambesis, vocalist of As I Lay Dying, appears on track 9, “To The Nines”.
It can easily be said that every track on The Fall of Rome is driving and fast, and they keep beating you down with very few breaks in the action. With that being said, there is a lot of melodic catchiness in there that should stick in listeners’ heads for quite some time.