Windhand – “Soma” (2013)

Label: Relapse Records

Review by Matteo Bussotti

I’ve already reviewed Windhand, on the occasion of their split-EP with Cough. And I have to say my thoughts about this band haven’t changed a bit. No, sorry, they have changed…in better.

“Soma” is clearly a doom metal album, with heavy distorted guitars, slow, defined rhythms, atmospheric, gloomy singing. The result will easily get your attention, and won’t let it go for the whole album, even if it’s long…more than one hour! Every song is 6 to 8 minutes long, and just when you thought you’re through…here come the last two songs, with their 13 minutes length for the first one ( “Cassock” ), and…30 minutes for the second (and last) one, “Boleskine”!

Impressive, simply impressive. The thing that struck me is Windhand‘s ability to deliver direct, compact 6-minute-long songs, along with more complex and long ones, like the previously mentioned “Bolsekine”. You need character and guts do to this, and let me say: Windhand have them both.

It is also great to notice the composition of the album, as if it was made into two “sections” with an interval. We have the first part, with the more “short” songs, then the break with “Evergreen”, a slow, acoustic, beautiful song (extremely simple and atmospheric), and the second part, with the two more complex and long songs. In my opinion, this is great: I always appreciate when bands take particular care with the disposition of the songs in their albums, when they give them a sense or try to give them a constant flow (like, do you know when one song flows directly into another, thanks to a note or a noise in common between the two?), and Windhand accomplished this with great majesty. Congratulations.

“Boleskine” is definitely my favorite song from “Soma”. You really get into its development, its different riffs and passages, it’s like a trip; it’s probably meant for a trip, it surely is not a song to listen through different “sessions”. You have to pay attention to it, to get to its intro, its development and its ending, with the atmospheric last minutes, with only some background noises, and the sound of the wind.

As I said, it’s a trip, a lonely, heavy, gloomy trip. Congratulations to Windhand, “Soma” truly is an album worth listening to, and it’s a must-listen if you like the genre, only to hear what new bands have to offer (and, in this case, to hear that they kick asses). Great!

Rating – 80/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Orchard
  2. Woodbine
  3. Feral Bones
  4. Evergreen
  5. Cassock
  6. Boleskine

 

Line Up

  • Dorthia Cottrell – Vocals
  • Asechiah Bogdan – Guitar
  • Garrett Morris – Guitar
  • Parker Chandler – Bass
  • Ryan Wolfe – Drums

 

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