Wind Rose
Wintersaga

2019 has been a banner year for power metal, especially for some of the bigger name bands, and more importantly power metal bands I actually like: Battle Beast, Beast In Black, Twilight Force, Sabaton , Grimgotts, 43 Rhapsody based bands and even grizzled Hammerfall all released albums,  with some of them certainly in the mix for my year end list. And to round off the year Italy’s Dwarven themed power metalers have released the follow up to 2017s excellent  Stonehymn, one of the first power metal bands to ever make my year end list (and  still listen to “To Erebor” a ton).

Fully locked in to the ‘Dwarven Metal’ look and sound that Stonehymn started, Wind Rose, have utterly embraced and developed it into something truly enjoyable. As I stated in my review of Stonehymn, whereas bands like say Twilight Force deliver a more glittering, magical , elvish sound, Wind Rose‘s take on power metal is stouter, earthier and chunkier- just like the Dwarves they emulate, and when mixed with Francesco Cavalieri’s perfect delivered, baritone Dwarven voice, the end result is another killer album.

After the intro “Of Iron and Gold”, the title track literally blasts into view with an epic blast beat akin to Ensiferum and its clear the jump to perfectly suited Napalm Records has increased the bands budget and confidence, as the album sounds much bigger and brasher than Stonehymn. The raucous “Drunken Dwarves” is a perfect ale swilling, fighting and drinking song for fire lit feast halls and Tolkien-esque  merriment, replete with  lots of ‘lei la leis’ and such and then we get “Diggy Diggy Hole” arguably the most perfect marriage/cover song in recent metal history.  Originally recorded by  Yogscast as  a fan made ode to the Minecraft game ( yes, I did have to research it….) , Wind Rose‘s beefed up power metal delivery is goddamn perfect, and you’ll be singing/humming it instantly and for a long time (much to my wife’s chagrin….).

“Mine, Mine Mine!” has the tough act to follow that catchy little bastard, but fares well with stern, workman like mining, working song and steady, dig worthy pace flocked with somber highland pipes and a violin.  Now, the rest of the album tails off a bit after such a strong start with “The Art of War”, a serviceable anthemic number, ‘There And Back Again”, a number telling the Dwarves account of The Hobbit with more epic Ensiferum-ish blasts, sweeping keyboards and  a big  swaying chorus. “The King Under the Mountain” alternates between a  slower, somber track and hefty ‘Heya la lei’ moments with good effect similar to “To Erebor”  from the last album.

The album closes with the band’s longest song since their debut (where the band were a much more progressive Symphony X/Blind Guardian inspired band), “We Were Kings”, and the 9 minutes or so is expectedly a bit more patient and varied with a little of everything going on, but it never really peaks or climaxed to end the album appropriately, even with its acoustic fade out, as I kinda felt there should be another song or two..

Still, anther great album from one of power metal’s fast risers and a band that has given power metal a powerful, unique lens to enjoy it though.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
November 13th, 2019

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