WINTER’S VERGE are one of the most successful metal bands ever to hail from the small island of Cyprus. With multiple international album releases, European tours and fans right around the world, they combine epic atmospherics, crunching technical riffs, intense speed and power into a rich, textured and immersive whole. Live shows are an experience to behold, with each band member at the top of their game.
September 2003 saw WINTER’S VERGE founded by George Charalambous (vocals) and Stefanos Psillides (keyboards) in the city of Nicosia. Only a short while later, they were joined by guitarist Pericles Mallopoulos. It didn’t take long to decide on their musical direction or to begin looking for other like-minded musicians. On an island like Cyprus, however, it proved to be a bigger problem than it would be in other countries. The next candidate they found was drummer Andreas Charalambous and shortly after this they wrote their first own songs. It soon became clear that they needed to find a bass player, not only to rehearse the songs better but also so that the highly motivated band could play their first live shows. The search took over five months before the right bass player was found in Charis Achilleos. Yet it still took a further year before they judged their first songs to be mature enough to be played live. They quickly won such an excellent reputation on local stages that they decided to record their first demo. The four track CD sold very well and WINTER’S VERGE was also noticed beyond Cyprus’s shores. But now the gods threw a rock in their path; Charis was called up for his military service. They quickly found an ideal replacement in Miguel Trapezaris, who brought a lot of experience with him which also benefited the band’s entire songwriting. After a further six months they were ready to record their first demo. ‘Another Life… Another End’ was burned onto CD and was showered with positive reviews shortly after its release. In the meantime WINTER’S VERGE had refined their style and had reached an absolutely professional level. The band were faced with their next big step when another lineup problem reared its head. Guitarist Pericles Mallopoulos also received his call-up papers to the army. The search for a suitable replacement did not take long and Harris Pari, an ambitious guitarist who had gained enough experience during his stint with BAD INFLUENCE was the man of the moment. With more motivation than ever WINTER’S VERGE contacted Limb Music Products (L.M.P.) and the contact resulted in a record contract.
In September 2007 the band moved Music Factory Studios in Kempten in southern Germany to record their debut album. Under the aegis of no lesser person than MYSTIC PROPHECY’s singer, R.D. LIAPAKIS the combo burned their style onto a terrific album. The songs from the previously unreleased demo album ‘Another Life… Another End’ were completely reworked and re-recorded, and two more songs were selected resulting in ETERNAL DAMNATION.
The album caused a stir in power metal communities around the globe, with glowing reviews given and new fans being made the world over. WINTER’S VERGE put Cyprus firmly on the map of Power Metal, and the band sought to expand their reach beyond Cyprus’ shores.
At this point, however, longtime drummer Andreas Charalambous decided that he could no longer dedicate himself 100% to the band due to personal reasons, and announced that he would be leaving. The rest of the band understood his decision, and Andreas remains to this day a close friend of the band.
In this difficult situation the band knew there was only one man they could turn to: Chris Ioannides. Being one of the best-known and most respected session musicians in Cyprus, Chris had played almost every style of music imaginable and is a regular on the venue circuit. Chris was immediately interested in the position, and after a single tryout joined the band, bringing with him a wealth of experience, knowhow and ideas.
With a new drummer and taking the experiences of writing and recording ETERNAL DAMNATION with them, the band began crafting their next release. More progressive and darker, the new material was a clear development into a different direction for WINTER’S VERGE, while maintaining the essence of their sound and style. Returning to the Music Factory studios in March and April of 2009, once again under the watchful guidance of producer R.D. LIAPAKIS, WINTER’S VERGE refined and sharpened their sound, infusing a darker, more epic and harder edge into their music. The past experiences also meant that WINTER’S VERGE could push their own individual abilities further and harder than ever before, while maintaining a tasteful balance between technicality and melody. A sinister running concept for the record was developed from the lyrical content, and the album was dubbed TALES OF TRAGEDY, fitting in with the themes explored and the music perfectly.
After performing a short tour of Greece on the PROG ‘N’ RUN FESTIVAL, November of 2009 brought exciting new developments. WINTER’S VERGE signed a new deal with MASSACRE RECORDS, and were confirmed to support Power Metal legends STRATOVARIUS on part of their 2010 POLARIS European Tour.
The POLARIS tour was a great success, winning the band new fans all over Europe, and coincided with the release of TALES OF TRAGEDY, which met with strong reviews and critical acclaim from the Metal community. 2010 also saw the band support MANOWAR legends ROSS THE BOSS and SCOTT COLUMBUS.
2011 saw the release of BEYOND VENGEANCE, which was critically acclaimed as an epic powerhouse of an album by reviewers and fans alike.
2013 was a difficult year for the band, with the economic crisis hitting Cyprus hard. Two members also left for personal and professional reasons. Founding member and keyboardist Stefanos Psillides and drummer Chris Ioannides left the band on good terms. WINTER’S VERGE quickly found replacements in the guise of the highly capable duo of drummer Danny Georgiou and guitarist Andreas Kopriva, both vastly experienced and technically accomplished musicians who could rise to the challenge of the band’s complex and technical material. The new members had a trial by fire in a pair of hometown shows at the end of 2013, which formally introduced them to the fans, and had a rapturous reception.In 2014 the band entered the studio to record their 4th Official album called ‘IV’ and in September of 2015 the new album was released, available in both Digital form and a very limited edition physical form.
In 2015 WINTER’S VERGE also performed at Cyprus’ 2nd annual Comic Con, Power of the Night X festival and traveled to Israel to perform at the Melodic Alliance Festival alongside other great bands!
WINTER’S VERGE are currently preparing new material, new sounds and new shows for 2016, and the metal community would do well to keep a very close eye on the coming storm…