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Windhand : Grief's Infernal Flower

Windhand's third full-length may be a few years old now, but it's still addictive enough to play on repeat...

Wood crackles and the fuzzed guitars rides the flames. The song is 'Two Urns', or two turns as Windhand's tunes are so ADDICTIVE it's hard to get through an entire album without replaying any tracks. Try it. Dorthia Cottrell's voice undulates over the fire and carries you through the heavy blaze. The fire is lit. 'Grief's Infernal Flower' begins.

Next up is 'Forest Clouds': It's a nine and a half minute masterpiece and I mean it. 'Forest Clouds' is an album stand-out exemplifying everything the band gets right: haunting and hypnotic vocal melodies, punching yet subtle drums, and a guitar/bass duo that play like conjoined twins, except when Garrett Morris breaks an atmospheric lead, full of wafting reverb and biting wah-wah. Listen to this one twice.

There's something so immediate about Windhand's music that immediately grabs the listener and makes them feel like they're hearing something rare. When Dante DuVall reviewed Windhand's 2013 full-length 'Soma', he praised the album saying, "Without hesitation I would say that this album is worthy of being lined up alongside albums such as 'Holy Mountain', and 'Dopethrone'". This type of reaction seems to stem from the atmosphere created by Windhand, which seems unique to them. Producer Jack Endino HAS to be proud of this one.

'Sparrow' is a short and mournful track containing only Cottrell's smoky voice and an acoustic guitar. It's a welcomed tonal shift, which is reproduced later on in the final track 'Aition'. 'Sparrow' prefaces three doom Redwoods that clock in at over 35 minutes: 'Hyperion', 'Hesperus', and 'Kingfisher'. This monstrous trifecta crushes, but might have improved with some trimming, as they seem to lull in contrast to some of the more interesting riffage in the beginning of the album.

The aforementioned 'Aition' closes the show Cottrell croons over a fingerpicked steel-string and soundscapes of wind. "Keep the fire alive," is the final lyric, or command, perhaps, and it's one easily obliged. Keep the record spinning.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Two Urns
2. Forest Clouds
3. Crypt Key
4. Tanngrisnir
5. Sparrow
6. Hyperion
7. Hesperus
8. Kingfisher
9. Aition

Duration : Approx. 70 minutes

Visit the Windhand bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-10-29 by Mark B
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