WINDS – The Imaginary Direction of Time

WINDS‘ latest offering is everything that their first album should have been. While promising, the Norwegian “all-star” troupe’s debut full-length, Reflections of the I, was an under-developed album that lacked distinction. The Imaginary Direction of Time is easily more mature, perhaps not much more memorable, but definitely more focused. Particularly of note is Andy Winter‘s keyboard finesse, breathing an experimental/avantgarde touch to the band’s “neo-classical” metal sound. Although the songs plod along in a brooding, mid-paced fashion, Winter‘s parts contribute to breaking up their songs that would otherwise be mostly contrived. Perhaps more for grown-ups and/or Euro-prog metal fans, singer Lars Eric Si‘s voice somewhat passionately leads the band forward in and out of tasty lead work by guitar-nerd Carl August Tidemann (ex-ARCTURUS). Si‘s voice is strong and able but hampered by vocal patterns that are mediocre at best. And of course ticking away in the background is muscleman Jan Axel von Blomberg (a.k.a. Hellhammer), who is obviously known for his heavy battery with MAYHEM. The thunderous drum-god keeps things in check by never overtaking the under-control style of WINDS. Considering the sum of its parts, WINDS isn’t quite the thunderous behemoth one would have imagined; however, The Imaginary Direction of Time clearly shows that they are blowing in the right direction. (The End Records)

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