Winds – Prominence and Demise
|By Rahul Chacko|
|Thursday, 30 August 2007|
|This one won’t stand firm in a gale.
Bands with underwhelming individual performers – you find them littered all over the place. Some even bother to make some good music now and then, despite their apparent handicap. At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got bands with members who kick ass in all their respective roles, but despite all that, the overall output comes off more lukewarm than anything else. No, this isn’t a Dream Theater review. Shut up. I mean it.
Winds should be a winner by roster alone. We’ve got a neo-classical guitar wanker, a classical pianist, a pretty good singer and to seal the deal, Hellhammer bashing the skins. And a few minutes into your first taste of their stuff, you’re thinking “Hell yeah, this kicks ass! And I think I get snob points for digging this stuff…” Then an insane guitar solo comes along and you’re like “Woohoo!” Ok, stop doing that – it’s retarded. Unless you’re Homer Simpson. In which case, you’re retarded. In a great way, but still retarded.
Something happens a couple of songs into the album, though. You switch off. (Sorry for being presumptuous and freely using second person like I know what you’re all about. Imagine I’m talking about me here.) The lines between songs start blurring, and checking the track number, you’re thinking “What? The 5th one already? How come I don’t remember the last 3?” I mean, unless you’ve forced yourself to sit and down and do nothing else but listen to the album start to end, it’s very likely that you’re just going to be distracted by something or the other after a certain point. I don’t know how virtuoso neo-classical fused metal can conceivably end up being background music, but there’s no denying that it lacks a certain hook to keep listeners hanging around. Damn.
A doubt – is it because the music keeps flitting all over the place, not stopping long enough to give you something to grasp? Well no, because other bands like Atheist, Spastic Ink and Spiral Architect do it to a far greater extent, and those bands kick ass. Maybe the guys in Winds need to take just a little bit of time from keeping their chops razor sharp and spend that figuring out solid songwriting. A suggestion, that’s all.
I couldn’t really tell you much about each song since, you know, blurred lines and everything. But the sound hasn’t much changed since their earlier albums, except that the songs seem to have gotten quite a bit longer on an average. Not really the best scenario considering the gripes I mentioned. Still, I’m going to stick my neck out and say that if you liked their previous output, you’re not really going to have much of a problem with this. On the other hand, if you haven’t heard any, and find the idea of experimental neo classical metal intriguing, give it a spin. If the album had done justice to the lineup, you can bet that’s what I’d be doing for some time to come now. Awesome leads, though. I’ll give it 2.5 for that. Sigh…
Lars Eric Si – Vocals, Bass
Carl August Tidemann – Guitars
Andy Winter – Piano
Jan Axel Von Blomberg (Hellhammer) – Drums
Year of release: 2007
Label: The End Records