Cyrostasium isn't a real word, just one of those band names that sounds like a real word. Cyrostasium is in fact an ambient black metal band from Boston who has been making music since 1999. Cryostasis, the only possible real word they’ve taken their name from, is basically when you deep-freeze living organisms. If I got that wrong, go look it up yourself and let us know your findings. I review music. I don't deconstruct biological terms that may have something to do with a music act's namesake. Although it is kind of appropriate, since the entire time Winter is playing you get the feeling you're in an underground lab with nightmarish experiments starting to thaw while you try to find your way aboveground.
Winter leans more towards industrial rock than black metal, though the ambient tag is appropriate. Told through five parts, the abusive opera's track list actually plays more softly as it progresses. "Winter,” the opener and best track on the album, lets a bouncing bass line, bottom-of-the-well drumming and haunted museum sound clips to allow the listener to think this is something they can handle before opening the floodgates to dozens of evil riffs and disembodied screaming. The next four tracks generally follow this structure, and while the music isn't afraid to flex its muscles from time to time, Winter never feels as heavy as it could be.
That said, the memorable moments will haunt you when your day is at its sunniest. Cryostasium has crafted an interesting and versatile album full of bad intentions and shoegaze-laden guitar noise. They're not afraid to experiment with different sound effects and percussive structures, and for the purists it'll be the biggest turn-off. For others seeking something a bit different in their doom-laden symphonies, it'll be the biggest draw. The album's greatest strength is the meticulous drumming, sometimes barely registering as the killer's tap-tap against the wall in the next room, but always with presence and always a good companion to the ghastly noises floating in and out of your audio perception. Winter will probably find a smaller audience than other dark ambient albums, but the listeners it seeks will find it, and they will writhe.
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