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Great first full length! - 75%

Immortally_Insane, September 24th, 2012

Italian power metal band Wind Rose hasn’t been around in the metal world for too long, releasing their first demo in 2010, appropriately named “Demo 2010”. Interestingly enough, these guys began their metal career as a power metal cover band, covering the likes of Blind Guardian and Dream Theater playing tons of shows and getting their name out. Forming in 2004, it wasn’t until 2009 that they actually started recording original material. Their first full length album “Shadows Over Lothadruin” released in August of this year, is a promising beginning to their future in the metal world.

Power metal without restrictions seems to be what this band is all about, and they’ve come up with a relatively creative way to tell a story through their latest album. Between some of the tracks, there is a short sound clip, and most are narratives or sound effects of the story. It’s an interesting idea, and reminiscent of the theatrics of Rhapsody of Fire, however I feel like they hinder the album more than help. They don’t get the story across to me any easier than the music does, because truthfully the music is very enjoyable on its own. The sound clips lose the epic feeling of the album for me, snapping me out of the power metal world and into a seemingly awkward “Wait…what?” moment.

That being said, the musicianship and song writing on the album is spot on for a power metal band boasting a progressive twist. Cheers to all of the musicians in this band! They clearly have learned from their days of covering power metal bands. The elements are all there for great metal music. The guitar has a great tone throughout the entire album, nice and deep and rounded, so it balances really well with the keyboards. The keyboards aren’t eccentric or frilly; they’re perfectly utilized for atmosphere. The bass is very well mixed in and helps really drive the songs home, and the drums are typical for this genre with a nice gallop. The vocals can really hit the nail on the head throughout the album, but sometimes I feel like they’re a slight miss. For a young man, this is expected, given that his voice isn’t as honed as the greats of the genre who have been doing this for 20+ years.

“Son of a Thousand Nights” is one example of beautiful vocal work. It’s a slower song, with stunning musicianship, complete with impressive vocal layering and effects. In this song, Francesco sticks to a lower range in his voice for the majority of the song, with great moments of crescendos into his higher range. All around, a fantastic song, and I would love to hear the band write more music like this. Going into their heavier tracks like “The Fourth Vanguard” and “Oath to Betray” I feel the vocals lose track a little bit. I would say they almost feel too forced and very intense. It may just lie in the mixing quality, but at moments in the verse lines especially, the vocals are too harsh for the music.

The album closer, an epic ten minute and forty second long track “Close to the End” certainly is a powerful way to leave your followers wanting more. It’s a perfect example of all of the styles the band is capable of creating, and creating well. It’s a very progressive sounding metal track, well written and striking, my personal favorite on the album. There are even some folk metal elements worked in and a flat out awesome guitar solo. These guys have definitely succeeded at taking the power metal genre and warping it into a new sound that flat out works for the band. I am quite excited to watch this band grow and develop their style even more because there is a lot of promise of something undeniably great in their future.

[Originally written for themetalreview.com]