Thursday, September 10, 2015

Windhand : "Greif's Infernal Flower"

This is the third full length from a band who has been the darlings of the metal blog-o-sphere since hitting the scene. On this album they have begun to move out from behind the altar of  Black Sabbath not the fuzzed out but carrying a hypnotic quality to the rumbling drone they kick up . The melodies seem more secure in their languid state and provide the needed sheen over the blown out distortion coming from the amps. The powerful vibrations the first song hits you with causes a similar reach most extreme metal also solicits in that you are wowed by the power so it doesn't matter how good the actual song is if the sound that hits you is solid. Her vocals on "Forest Clouds" are really the only thing that distinguishes this from the opener to me. The drummer s a little more active on this song. Lyrically I'm not sure how tucking some one into bed has anything to do with the song unless its about a mother killing her children.

It's on "Crypt Key" where they begin sounding less like doom and more like grunge , namely Screaming Trees. Not that this is bad the level of Black Sabbath worship is decreased and singer Dorthia Cottrell is really coming into her own as a singer and finding her identity, I suppose the solo album helped get her to this place. "Tanngrisnir" has an almost Alice In Chains quality to the layered vocals. While these guys are doom, I am so used to listening to darker drearier funeral doom, until it feel more like sludged out stoner rock. "Sparrow" drops down into more of a folk ballad. Her voice adds a blues tinged husk to the reflective tenderness, that laments what sounds to be a toxic relationship.There is something about it that reminds me of Dax Riggs ballads like "Dead Girl".

There is a heavier crunch to "Hyperion" that takes the album on a doomier turn. The melodies that ride the riff on more of the laid back Alice In Chains qualities. "Hesperus" is only a few degrees different with her vocal melody the key element to providing distinction between the two songs, until it picks up pace and begins to build toward the end. They seem to firing on all cylinders on "King Fisher" which best blends the rumbling doom riffage with her smooth vocals style that is poured over the bass heavy vibrations.In the song's final five minutes they dip into a  some what trippy passage that really adds to the dynamics of the album as a whole. They close the album with another dip into  blues colored folk. This album is a big improvement for the band they have really grown as song writers. Up to this point I was indifferent towards them and now they are on my radar and I will be paying much closer attention, so I shall give this one a 9. Coming out September 8th on Relapse Records.

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