Review by Alex on November 26, 2018.
Here’s another doom metal release that just matches the weather here in New York, that coldness that comes with Autumn leading into the skin biting, face tearing agony of Winter.
WindHand’s performance on Eternal Return is swirling storm of psychedelic/stoner doom melodies that shift in tempo, pace and feeling. Sometimes you feel as though you're wrapped in the warmth of late Spring early Summer like on “Grey Garden” around the 3 minute mark then suddenly you’re dragged back to the unforgiving chill of late Autumn early Winter with songs like ”Pilgrim’s Rest” and “First to Die”. All moods are intelligently represented on Eternal Return through the heaviness of the guitar riffs, power chords, the vocals, the bass and pacing/flow of each musical piece on the record. “First to Die” is a stunning track, it captures the dread and progression of the subject which seems to be about re-incarnation. Such an excellent track in every sense; you can feel an air of horror, doom, a little melancholy and mysticism. The way it progressively climaxes and weaves itself into the psychedelic instrumental “Light Into Dark” gives the listener a sense of unification between and amongst the songs on the record as this effect managed to extend its reach in an attempt of musical immersion. I was not enjoying “Red Cloud” much until the guitar solo kicked in; the soloing on that track immediately shifted the direction of my opinions on “Red Cloud”, I went from viewing the entry as filler to seeing it as a worthy installment that attaches itself and becomes an integral piece to the grand portrait of Eternal Return.
There’s one thing about the Fall and Winter seasons, they both make long for the warmth of Summer; WindHand creates this feeling through the music by presenting frigid compositions suitable for late Autumn going into Winter, then they provide the listener with a peek into the lush warm landscapes of Spring and Summer as the cover art depicts. This is more accurately represented with “Eyeshine” that drifts smoothly into a wicked jam-session reminiscent of the grunge scene. That which I speak of is “Diablerie”, its grunge meets stoner doom, a fascinating experience this short gift of music is, dreamy, hazy and mystic, it an excellent usher for the closing moments of Eternal Return. I think the album should have ended with that song, it’s definitely one of the stronger tracks on the record. The final track felt very unnecessary and did not really add anything that needed to be apart of Eternal Return; and given its 13+ minutes long, it did not help the situation. It really struggled to find purpose amidst the glory of the other tunes but just dragged and exited without leaving a gratifying lasting impression almost like a balloon aimlessly being blown by the wind into wherever. However; given the strength of the other songs on Eternal Return you cant really complain about the album as a collective; great production, fantastic flow, memorable riffs and vocals, this latest entry by WindHand will certainly affix to the appetite of many stoner/doom metal listeners.
Memories of Winter’s dread:
- ”Grey Garden”
- "First to Die"
Rating: 8.5 out of 10258