Wind Rose
Warfront

Italy’s premier Dwarven-themed power metallers are back with album number 5, and although I only discovered them after 2017s Stonehymn, (where they truly leaned into the Dwarven imagery and themes), they have been one of my favorite power metal bands since.

2019s Wintersaga brought us the youtube hit and earworm “Diggy Hole”, (sitting at 34 million views!) which really got the band some international attention. And now we finally have the follow-up, Warfront, and it might be the band’s finest hour yet.

Continuing the Dwarven themes (not just Tolkien dwarves mind you), Warfront is 1 intro and 9 songs of everything Wind Rose is good at, cranked to a higher level. Crunchy, beefy riffs, rousing, blood-pumping choruses, Francesco Cavalieri’s baritone, soaring yet uniquely dwarvish vocals, stirring keyboards, and yes- all of it about dwarves and their various hobbies like mining, fighting, etc. Though there certainly seems to be more of an emphasis on the war/fighting aspect.

And every single song is killer. After the intro, there simply isn’t a weak song at all. The energetic “Army of Stone” comes out of the gate strong with one of the album’s many earworm choruses, that simply get you going and replaying over and over again. This inevitably delays the next killer, upbeat song, “Tales of War”, and just shows how well these guys can put together a rousing sing-along chorus at every damn turn. And the thing is, these aren’t even the best choruses on the damn album! (more on that later).

“Fellows of the Hammer” deliver a stern, anvil pounding anthem before we get the album’s first two singles, the battle hymn, “Together We Rise” and the Warhammer universe themed,  “Gates of Ekrund” with yet another stellar, first pumping pre-chorus to march to war to and epic conclusion (and its equally epic video above). Then finally we get to “One Last Day”, my favorite song from the album, and possibly my favorite song the band has penned since “To Erebor” from Stonehymn (my introduction to the band). The chorus is just a goddamn perfect execution of catchy meets rousing meets metal.

Now, the next three songs reign things in a bit, not quite capturing the utter glorious-ness of some of the prior tracks, but no less enjoyable. We get the album’s longest cut, “The Battle of the Five Armies”, which is surprisingly restrained considering the epic Lord of the Rings subject matter, and another longer song in “I am the Mountain”. The album is rounded out by the ballad “Tomorrow Has Come”, which has a somber mood rather than ending the album with a bang.

It’s been a couple of years since a power metal album landed on my year-end list, (Twilight Force‘s Dawn of the Dragonstar in 2019), but I’m certain that trend will be broken as Warfront is likely to be one of my most listened to, favorite albums of 2022, and not just in the power metal genre.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 13th, 2022

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