Not one to ever step straight into any opening without positioning himself to reshape it in at least a small manner, Kevin Max just released, “Angels Of Winter (Wolves Of Fate),” as a free download on Soundcloud. While his respect and appreciation for iconic standard-bearers of seasonal sound such as Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra is sure, his distaste for all-too-common token amalgamations of pop music and tacky Christmas references is equally unwavering. Simply put, you’re much more likely to find him enjoying Nat King Cole as he sings about chestnuts roasting on an open fire than you are to see him singing along with Elmo & Patsy’s “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” But, with “Angels of Winter (Wolves Of Fate),” Max’s free seasonal offering finds him stepping surely away from both ends of the spectrum of familiar seasonal music. With his skills of poetic articulation on full display, Max deftly threads descriptors of a beautiful winter setting together into an introspective reflection upon faith, fear, tension, light, dark, and hope — all without any mention of a little drummer boy, Santa Claus, or last Christmas. So, press play, close your eyes, and join him. Then download the song for free and repeat the experience to your heart’s content.