Winds
Prominence and Demise

I wish I could take a record for what it is the first spin through. I literally wrote off this disc before I captured the brilliance within it. That happens a lot though. I find myself returning to albums sometimes years after it initially didn’t take. With that said, once you feel you are in the mood for a subconscious journey of thought, I highly recommend Winds latest masterwork of melodic progressive metal, Prominence and Demise.

These Norwegian composers have made their stamp frequent times over the past seven years or so. The impressive line up consisting of Andy winter (keys and piano), Carol August Tidemann (guitars), Lars Eric Si (vocals, and bass), and Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Von Blomberg on drums is skillful to say the least. Winds past two releases displayed a classical take on avant-grade music with a tinge of metal. Personally, as accomplished as I knew the music was, I just couldn’t bring myself to like it. I needed more metal. Well I’m overjoyed to say that Winds have stepped into full metal territory and all nine tunes are hard hitting masterpieces of exceptional music.

At first, I was taken back by Lars’s voice. It seems weak to me. Even though I have grown to enjoy the character of this release, personally I feel the vocals need more extreme caliber. Its progressive music so I really don’t see harsh vocals, but a little more style would help this band to become way more accessible. And they do utilize death vocals on a song or two. Seriously, it isn’t a hell of a lot but its very harsh and it fits wonderfully.

If you are a guitar player or fan of neoclassical fretwork, this is something you should hear. Arpeggios, sweeps, and scales embellish every song. The special thing about winds though is how they incorporate flamenco style piano behind the guitar work. Its like lounge music playing behind the double bass and classical picking. It flutters. This makes for a beautiful sound.

Many talents helped to create this work. Guest vocals include Dan Swano, Lars Are “Lazare” Nedland (Solefald, Borknagar), and Angete Kirkevaage (Matter Mordem). The Oslo Philharmanic Orchestra also lends a hand on some backing instrumentation. No wonder this Prominence and Demise took 3 years to complete. Travis Smith delivers a nice piece of artwork for the front cover as well.

It will take sometime for fans of other genres of music to grasp this band. But I strongly suggest taking the time to listen to this record. It gets better as the CD progresses, and there is a distinctive dark demeanor that covers this release. In my opinion, this is Winds best release. They have set the bar very high for themselves and a new direction is a midst. We may just see the band get even more extreme in years to come. I would really like to see that.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
August 10th, 2007

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