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Album Reviews : Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower

By on November 15, 2015

518704This is Windhand‘s third album and in my opinion their best so far. People who enjoy Windhand’s music will be pleased to hear their slow, heavy, rockin’-riff-filled music is back. This time around though, I feel there is more variation throughout the album, compared to their previous releases. There are shorter songs and more acoustic passages, and the riffs feel fresher and less recycled.

The sound of this album is so good. The tone of the guitars is so fuzzy, heavy and thick, and the psychedelic guitar solo sections feel as though they’ve been written very carefully. I felt like in their previous releases some of these passages seemed a bit too improvised, so they came off as little more than cool-sounding noise. This time though, they really add a lot to their sections. The solo in “Two Urns”, for example, moves with the riff so well, particularly around the 2:45 mark.

I love the sound of the drums. The kick really stands out and the snare has a good amount of reverb. The drummer seems to have learned a few more grooves and patterns for this album, but he doesn’t go out of his way to play anything too fancy, which I think is perfect for this album and Windhand’s music. The bass, oh boy. This album sounds so good through a nice set of speakers. The opening to “Tanngrisnir” will rumble all the junk off your shelves.

Dorthia’s voice feels more present than previous releases, and this is a great because I love her voice and it sounds great in the mix. Originally when I listened to their self-titled album, I was surprised to find out the vocalist was female. I think I didn’t realise because the vocals used to be lower in the mix and had more reverb. On this album though, they are louder and clearer, so there’s no mistaking it. Sparrow really lets you hear what a great voice she has.

Windhand have, in the past, played very similar riffs over and over again. Take, for example, the songs “Winter Sun”, “Woodbine” and “Amaranthe”. They’re all from different releases but the tempo, drum patterns, and riffing are all very similar. Grief’s Infernal Flower feels really fresh in comparison. There is a lot more variation, and the songwriting has really taken a step up from previous releases. Another thing I’d like to praise Windhand for is that this album doesn’t have any boring, meandering parts. “Hesperus”, for example, is a long song at nearly fifteen minutes. However, I don’t find it boring at all. It’s riffs and slower heavy parts all work together so it doesn’t feel like a chore to get through.

I saw Windhand live about a year ago at Yah Yah’s and The Tote (Melbourne venues), both times the walls were shaking, and I was enjoying every second. I cannot wait to see them play some material from this album, and in fact I’d love for them to play the whole thing because it’s great, consistent, heavy; it’s an excellent album.