Originating from Zimbabwe, Nuclear Winter is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Gary Stautmeister. Despite being categorized as industrial/death metal, there are scant few traces of industrial characteristics to be found on Seagrave. Instead, it showcases an ambitious fusion of black, death, and symphonic metal.
Nowhere is this approach better typified than the lead track “The Glimmering Landscape” with its operatic choirs, death growls, and an onslaught of powerful guitars that shred mercilessly and leave no prisoners – it’s a worthy single, and it’s to Stautmeister’s credit as a songwriter that it manages to be hooky despite the oppressive heaviness. “Black Waters” finds the artist lacing more prominent keyboards between the massive riffs and arresting yet tasteful solos that leave few doubts about his virtuosity as a guitarist. Unfortunately, a few tracks simply don’t quite stick beyond their playing time. “Fates Mysteries” and “The Dusk and Song” are competent symphonic compositions, but they lack the hooks and distinctive moments to truly set them apart from better songs on the record. However, the final track, a cover of Bad Boys Blue’s “House of Silence,” is an impressive closer and vies for the position of the best moment on the album. While the original is a catchy bit of early ‘90s synthpop, Stautmeister ports the composition to his style while keeping the sheen of the source material intact; forsaking his death growls for cleaner vocals for much of the track, he employs a bit of funky bass among the big choirs before the thunderous guitars take over for the massive chorus that drives the track home.
Although the album as a whole may be slightly uneven, the standout moments are sensational. Stautmeister certainly has the talent, potential, and ability to craft an immense record, even if Seagrave itself can’t quite reach that mark.