There’s plenty of good songs on the album, but the problem is that there’s nothing about the album that sets Winterhymn apart from all the other folk metal bands out there – the music is just not that distinctive and doesn’t have any unique elements to it. The music is listenable and certainly doesn’t strike you as bad, but on the other hand it’s not the most memorable of pieces.
Additionally, at times it feels like the balance isn’t quite right. The violin line is quite overpowering at times, occasionally being so strong that it’s the only line you can really focus on and effectively ‘blocking’ the lead vocals from being heard, which is a shame. It’s clear their violinist has skill, but on the other hand it would also be nice to have a focus on other elements of their sound from time to time as well.
That’s not to say it’s a bad album – it’s not. If you’re a fan of folk metal, you may well appreciate this as long as you listen with an open mind and don’t expect any surprises, and if nothing else, Blood & Shadow plays quite well as background music whilst you focus on another task.