In time, bands make changes. Sometimes they have to pause, regroup, reform, or find a new sound. In the Case of Winter’s Descent, they did it all. Formed in 2008 they have gone through changes as they built their name into one of the more easily recognized in the Pittsburgh area. Constantly searching for ways to grow they have also become major supporters of the music scene so it’s no surprising to me that they came back to the stage in a show that was designed for the scene itself. One thing they have learned is to not shy away from taking chances when it seems like the right thing to do, like when the chemistry is just right. Earlier this year it was decided change was needed and they paused their constant upward spiral to collect themselves. Last Friday they unveiled the new line up of the band at the Steel City Showcase, a show formed to help bring the music community to a higher level through several avenues.
Don’t worry boys and girls, the intense eyed Jerry Mulligan is still bringing you those clean vocals, growls and rage filled cries you know and love. Paul Lucas is still slapping his bass with more energy than I’ve ever seen, running the stage like it’s his own personal playground, lost in the energy around him. You can still watch John Peluso beat those drums with skill and a ferocity that makes you wonder how this muscular man doesn’t break his kit as often as some drummers break sticks. The addition to the band is Nick Labrakopolous. This is where it gets interesting. May I turn your attention to the man who I got to see have his first show….ever?? Yes, you heard that right. I got to be there when this virgin of the stage stood with his established band brothers in front of a crowd pushing to get closer to them all. I watched the man who began with a very slight shyness in his eyes form a tight half-smile as he loosened up quickly and dove right into the music they shared with us. By the end of their set he shone as brightly as the rest of them, knowing he had pulled out all the stops and rightfully earned his place among one of the best bands Pittsburgh has to offer. That’s a great thing considering the rumors that Winter’s Descent is not only back, but that these four musicians have plenty of tricks up their sleeves over the next year to prove they truly are even better than ever.
Joining Jerry’s vocals on stage that night was Zosia West, lead singer of the newly formed, and aptly named band, Reign Of Z. Performing a duet of Katie Perry’s E.T. with a very metal twist, Jerry’s deep and demanding voice gave way to the melodic sounds necessary while Zosia discarded her naturally dark vocals for something in a much higher range. Everyone watched Mulligan’s naturally projected power as he stalked the stage, and seemingly Zosia. As for Ms. West, her eyes cast upwards during the song and her actions were far more submissive than the demon eyed seductress I watched on stage just a week before. Their on stage chemistry gave more depth and meaning than even the cool way they cut the single point of view lyrics into male/female parts. It was no longer one person’s journey of longing, but now a darker meaning of two people lost in the idea of each other. Bravo.
You could see it in the eyes of the crowd and feel it in the energy of the audience gathered before them, Winter’s Descent is taking no prisoners. This hard rock, alternative metal band is reaching past what they know has been their best and finding a new way to define success. If you thought they were good before, you’re not going to want to miss another show because they just keep getting better. Speaking of shows, Winter’s Descent is set to play with NeverWake on August 12th at Mr Small’s Theatre and I understand there will be an encore of the duet with Zosia. Get out and see this magic on stage, there’s probably a rather limited amount of time it will be able to happen as her band is already taking off! Stop by the Winter’s Descent Facebook page www.facebook.com/wintersdescent/ or follow them on Twitter twitter.com/WintersDescent. If you really want a treat, plug the name into Spotify, YouTube, or SoundCloud – and Enjoy!!