Sunday, September 25, 2011

WINDHAND - Self Titled CD review

WINDHAND - Self Titled CD
Forcefield Records
Genre: Doom
Rating: 5/5

This debut release by Richmond, Virginia's WINDHAND is so uber-SABBATH that they even start it off with a thunderstorm soundbite. Not the whole storm mind you just a few thunderclaps prior to the opener "Black Candles". Then the riffs commence, drums pound and then an off worldly voice calls to you. The rain eventually starts pouring on the following cuts "Libusen" and "Heap Wolves". The music transports you to another place in another time. Well I was expecting good things from this act ever since I heard their demo material last year. Aside from the obvious SABBATH worship WINDHAND also retro-fits everything for modern audiences by way of psyched doom in the vein ELECTRIC WIZARD. Although I wouldn't call them copycats or followers since their sound simply parallels the other on separate paths that don't cross one another. Add to that their vocalist Dorthia Cottrell has a delivery which is beautifully haunting and harmonious. It's a great formula especially with the heavy as fuck, thick as molasses riffs being employed by guitarists Asechiah Bogdan and Garrett Morris.

Along with displaying what he learned at Tony Iommi's school of a thousand riffs Morris is also responsible for the spot on recording/mixing of this slab of doom. Actually saying spot on is not enough since this is an amazing release. For all of it's down tuned power there's a hypnotic quality going on here, "Summon the Moon" and "Winter Sun" respectively, which after a dozen listens still has not worn off. Seriously I've had the release for over a week and while listening to this the world around you stops. I can't even type while it's playing because of the mesmerizing quality which I'll call the Doom Trance. Since WINDHAND is a female fronted Doom band I won't be surprised if other reviewers name drop JEX THOTH, BLOOD CEREMONY or DEVIL'S BLOOD (the prerequisite names being dropped of late) in order to once again pigeon hole another band. Frankly I think it's about time the simplistic gender association comparisons end and just let the band's music stand on it's own. In that case WINDHAND's debut is outstanding. It's the perfect release to play when you wanna let your mine go on vacation.



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