Album Review: Winds Of Tragedy - Hating Life
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings
This album should come with a warning for those of a depressive nature. For the second album by Sergio González Catalán, the man behind the Winds of Tragedy name is filled with misery, darkness, and despair. It follows the debut release ‘As Life Drifts Away’, and is as melancholic in subject matter as that first album.
It’s uncompromising, from the blistering opener ‘Living a Lie’, a relentless and howling barrage of aggressive black metal that is likely to remove flesh from bone. Banks of scorching riffs combine with demonic, harrowing guttural roars of indistinguishable grief, the pain and dripping like blood from an open wound.
Over the 35 minutes of ‘Hating Life’, the temperature drops, such is the chilling nature of the music, which is completed by drummer Emidio Alexandre. It’s music to unite lost spirits, to unleash the terror and misery, ease scarring and memories. The projectile eruption of ‘I Choose to Die’ is unrelenting, a call to those whose waking hours result in pain, excruciating sadness, and hopelessness.
Underneath it all is a musical journey masterminded by a single, focused vision. It may be repetitive, the general direction of atmospheric black metal often is, but it’s something likely to impact on those it touches. The subhuman pace is at times almost too much to endure. The barrage on the title track for example, is simply an exhaustive collection of visceral roars, croaks and a maelstrom of chaotic riffing, blast beats and punishing delivery. The occasional pause merely diverts attention for the breathless onslaught rarely eases.
Drenched with personal experiences of grief, ‘Hating Life’ is not for the faint hearted. Catalán is well known for his doom metal project, Rise to the Sky and he extends his song writing in an extreme manner with songs like ‘No Reason to Go On’, ‘Wake Me Up From this Lie’, the latter benefitting from some melody as programmed strings add a symphonic element to another high energy track.
The musicianship is intense. The drumming that Alexandre provides is phenomenal, expressive yet focused and pulverising in delivery. A military battery which doesn’t cease, there is much to admire. By the time we reach the chilling finale, ‘Remember We Died’, a feeling of raw emotion should be eating away at the listener. It’s ferocious, a cacophony of black metal at its rawest, but that shouldn’t detract from the sheer passion poured into this most open and honest of works.
With a solid production from Ocean of Grief contributor Filippos Koliopanos and the haunting cover photography of Tatiana Lebedeva, Winds of Tragedy have brought one of the darkest releases of 2023 to fruition.