Winds is an orchestral maneuver in darkness. Only ocassionally does the band allow for light to pierce through and claim some semblance of joy in what is a reflection of sorrows and darkness in the mind of the i. First track “Clarity” sets the stage with listful violins and cellos which kick in dramatically with rat-a-tat drums from Mayhem and Kovenant drummer Hellhammer aka Jan Axel Von Blomberg and a vocalist who’s style is one part Peter Steele of Type O Negative and equal parts Dishwalla, Opeth, and Marcy Playground. This creates a vocal melody that’s fresh and constant of change. This is grand scale with minimalism in effect. Track two “Realization” continues the dark journey as it presents the listener with the key to the abyss which can be reflected in i.
The guitars are embellishments. They are the window dressing. Never do they take center stage but never are they lost and speak only when appropriate throughout the musical presentation. Think Yngwie Malmsteen with less ego.
Realization gets heavier towards the end with Hellhammer dishing up a plate of unrelenting double bass drums. Track #5 “Passions Quest” is a power metal epic which is one of the few times when light and brightness is allowed to shine through. No doubt this is the hope in the impending doom. It’s soars and aurally it catches the right mood at the right time. Then as soon as you feel it’s alright to smile then we’re dragged back into the abyss with stalking vocals and calculated vocal motives.
The next few songs appear to be a melding of Ynwie Malmsteen and Opeth like compositions that never quite reach power metal but still retain an epic power metal feel.
Track #9 “Existence” offers the first real noticeable change in tempo and character since Track 3 “Of Divine Nature” in that this is once again soaring power metal with grandiose guitars and drumming with deep/clean vocal exchanges. This will satisfy those fans of Kamelot, Blind Guardian, or Helloween.
Tracks 10 and 11 set the stage for the brooding menace that follows. Slowed tempos and Opethian vocal harmonies hook handedly drag the listener into the darkest reaches of the subconscious. This is the point in the movement that we hear the Type O Negative influences manifesting themselves on Winds.
Track #12 is one of the darkest and in my humble opinion the best song. This is when our deepest desires to skulk and taste of the southern lips of creation, invited or uninvited. We sway in sexual disabandon.
By track #14 “Bloodstained And Sworn” we are in the throes of blood, sweat, and sex. We are not innocent. we are the secret desires of the blackened i.
Track 16 leaves us an “Eternity of Dreams” that begin to lift us back from that drenched bath in reflective darkness with a cold hand and a legitimate apology for taking us where we may not wish to enter or be reminded of…but it is with that realization in mind that WINDS takes us on this jounrey of mind and soul…an aural road winding and only slightly lit…as we are given a relection of the i and made to remember what made us yesterday and what will recreate us tomorrow.