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Winter Crescent is a Greek progressive metal band from Heraklion on the Island of Crete.

From their 2011 promo pack: "Winter crescent were formed at the winter of 2000 by Alexis Ktistakis, in Heraklion Crete, Greece. After 8 years of line-up changes, the band started to find a stable formation in early 2008. Winter Crescent has performed over the years live in various cities all over Greece and has recorded a demo cd entitled Battle Of Egos, with 7 songs (35 minutes playtime), which was self-released in the early May of 2009. This demo was rewarded by the Greek Metal Hammer as the Pick of the Month of September 2009 issue and 85% on February's German Rock Hard. Furthermore, it has received very good reviews at various E-zines and Magazines around the world In the late September of 2009, Winter Crescent went on tour with 4 other Greek bands and they played in 7 cities (Heraklion, Rethimnon, Ioannina, Katerini, Thessaloniki, Larisa and Athens) with
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WINTER CRESCENT Battle of Egos album cover 4.00 | 7 ratings
Battle of Egos
Progressive Metal 2009


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EP · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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Kev Rowland
Winter Crescent were formed in 2000 by guitarist Alexis Ktistakis, in Heraklion Crete, Greece, but it wasn’t until 2008 that the band line-up became stable and they released this their debut EP in May 2009. Apparently it gained a lot of press at the time (Greek Metal Hammer named it Pick of the Month in September 2009) but it has only just come to my attention. It never ceases to amaze me at just how much good music is out there that we rarely get to read about, and here is another good example. Imagine Progressive Metal a la Fates Warning that also contains some Savatage influences then you may just get close to the mark. The feeling here is of a very strong unit, which is tight and heavy when they need to be but are also very aware of the need for light within the shade. There is a polish, an added gloss that provides a shine without taking away from any of the powerful riffs.

Complex twin lead breaks with an almost mathcore intensity lead into riffs that are tight and solid. It is hard to realise that this is a debut self-released EP (35 minutes with 7 songs), and not something from a major label as this shouts class from start to end.

Apparently the guys have recently been in the studio working on their first full-length album but until that is ready I urge you to discover this further, as this really hits the mark.


EP · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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Greece's metal scene may not be as expansive as the landscape of some other European countries, but acts like Crete's Winter Crescent prove that there are more top-notch bands from this small nation than one may initially assume. Showcasing a style of old school progressive metal reminiscent of Fates Warning and Psychotic Waltz, the band's 2009 debut EP entitled Battle of Egos is the sort of music that really connects with me as a listener - the songwriting is sophisticated without sounding self-indulgent, the melodies are strong without sounding like cheap hooks, and the music gets pretty heavy without ever losing sight of memorability. If you, like me, can't get enough of classic progressive metal releases, Battle of Egos is a downright essential listen.

Perhaps due to the raw production values and two-guitarist instrumentation (there are no keyboards here), Winter Crescent's music reminds me mostly of late eighties' and early nineties' progressive metal in the vein of Fates Warning, Queensryche, and especially Psychotic Waltz. The American one-album progressive thrash metal wonder The Last Things wouldn't be a bad point of reference either, as Winter Crescent's generally dark atmospheres and gritty guitar tones give off a bit of a thrash vibe. The important thing to take note of, though, is that Battle of Egos is old school to the bone, and folks that miss the days when progressive metal sounded more like a complex version of traditional metal than a separate genre will be delighted to hear this one.

At over 34 minutes, Battle of Egos is also a fairly lengthy EP release, so it's a great value when one considers the generally high level of compositional talent exhibited by Winter Crescent. Each of the tracks are memorable and interesting enough to warrant numerous repeat listens, but "Furrow" is my personal favorite; Nikos Spyridakis's vocals really bring Devon Graves to mind here! As talented as all of the instrumentalists here are (and talented they are indeed; there are more than enough complex rhythmic ideas and melodic leads to satisfy any progressive metalhead), it's Nikos's tremendous vocal performance that really propels Winter Crescent into the upper tier of the genre.

Although Battle of Egos is perhaps not the most groundbreaking release in recent memory and a more professional production would benefit Winter Crescent's music greatly, I have completely fallen in love what these Greeks have put together for their debut EP. This is some excellent material, and I will be eagerly awaiting Winter Crescent's next move!


EP · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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"Battle of Egos" is a 7 track, 34:17 minutes long EP release by Greek, Crete, Heraklion based progressive metal act Winter Crescent. The EP was self-released through Bandcamp in May 2009. Winter Crescent have existed since 2000, but it wasn´t until 2008 that a stable lineup was established. "Battle of Egos" is as such a demo EP, but these days with loads of self-released releases what constitutes a demo and what doesn´t is a bit unclear.

...the only thing about "Battle of Egos" that points in the direction of this release being a demo is the sound production, which at times could have used a more professional hand. It´s a slight issue though when the quality of the music is as high as it´s the case here. Winter Crescent play a rather dark, heavy and occasionally even slightly psychadelic progressive metal style. The band are a "regular" metal constellation with two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and a singer. No keyboards on this one. The tracks feature complex structures and the band often play with tempo- and time signature changes. There is a good balance between varied heavy riffing and more atmospheric sections. While there are no keyboards in the music, the band instead skillfully add texture to some sections by adding harmony layers of feedback guitars placed low in the mix. A very nice feature and something I hope the band will experiment with further in the future.

The band are genereally well playing but it´s lead vocalist Nikos Spyridakis that takes them a level higher. He has a strong voice that sometimes reminds me of Warrel Dane (Sanctuary, Nevermore) and when he sings most odd I hear slight nods toward Buddy Lackey (Psychotic Waltz) (take a listen to the middle section in "Furrow" for proof of the latter mentioned influence). He is very expressive and sings with great passion. In addition to the above mentioned influences I think there are nods toward mid- to late nineties Fates Warning in the music too. But that´s when the band play their more technical parts. It´s the opening trio of tracks, which form the "Battle of Egos" suite that are most impressive to my ears and I do feel that the longer into the EP I get, some songwriting issues begin to appear. It´s nothing too serious, but the quality and the memorability factor do drop slightly a couple of times during the playing time.

Despite a sound production that might be lacking a bit of a professional touch and a few compositional weaknesses in some tracks, "Battle of Egos" is a very enjoyable progressive metal release. Provide these guys with enough money to buy studio time and a professional producer and I´m sure their next release will be even more killer than this one already is. In it´s current form this EP is still a very promising first release from a very promising act and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.


EP · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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Time Signature
Lost in dreams...

Genre: progressive metal

I have a pen in my office at work which says "I ♥ Crete" which my girlfriend and I somehow obtained while on holiday on the island. Now, there are many reasons to ♥ Crete: the sunny weather, the rustic food, the feral cats (the cute and social ones at least), the beaches, Knossos, Xania, the oranges and so on. And, well, here is another reason to ♥ Crete: Winter Crescent.

On their EP, Winter Crescent deliver tasty and expressive progressive metal with a dark feel to it. The EP is quite consistent, yet varied, and I also like how Winter Crescent have managed to create some sophisticated and progressive metal which is still generally quite accessible. There are odd time signature every now and then, and the song structures are not totally conventional, but we are not dealing with music that is too abstract or quirky for more mainstream oriented listeners to follow.

Combining slightly technical things with grooves, guitar harmonies, fluid midrange vocal melodies, and drum patterns which are not always straight yet incredibly solid, Winter Crescent cover a lot of ground in the course of this release, but the dynamics of the EP is such that you hardly notice when one song ends and another one begins (although if you pay attention, there are actually breaks of silence between tracks), and this makes for a very smooth and pleasurable listening experience.

While original, there seem to be references to the likes of Fates Warning at their darker moments and Psychotic Waltz' two first releases on the EP - and those two bands are definitely not the worst places to find inspiration.

The production is not polished and perhaps a bit amateurish to some, but I actually find that quite refreshing in a genre which otherwise is characterized by crystal clear and polished productions. "Battle of Egos" sounds organic and authentic and has a bit of rock 'n' roll street attitude because of the unpolished production.

In all, "Battle of Egos" is a solid release, featuring some tasty and melodic dark progressive metal which is both sophisticated and accessible.If you ♥ progressive metal, then check out this EP.


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