Wind Rose 
                                                                             Shadows Over Lothadruin   Bakerteam Records  

Wind Rose's debut album 'Shadows Over Lothadruin' is a concept album, but the concept actually escapes me.  It’s all about a kind of Lord of the Rings story I am guessing, it’s not really very clear.  The album is Progressive / Power Metal that lasts over an hour and is nothing new in any way or form, yet the music is huge, with intense atmospherics and crashing orchestration.  It is truly magnificent.  But there are several pauses between the songs which kind of ruin the album for me personally.  You have the loud orchestra, guitars and Power Metal rapture, then a nonsensical narrative, it just takes you out of the zone of the album.  

 

Anyway on to the music which opens in a dramatic fashion with crashing symbols, violins and a whole classical piece all cascades together as 'Awakening' comes to life as these Italian Power Metallers deliver a thundering entrance, to what is a melodic metal album, with excellent musicianship throughout the hour of classically infused metal.  'Endless Prophecy' shows its promise, then the bells chime and the tempo slows down as the captivating vocals of Francesco Cavalieri lead you through five minutes of Power Metal majesty.

 

Here’s the first interlude with galloping horses, called 'The Tournament' all a bit pointless! The next track 'Siderion' opens with medieval horns, an accordion and machine gun drumming, so this track is more Folk metal than Power Metal and reminded me of barn dancing!  Till the final minute and we get more guitars and keyboards.  See you are just getting into the album then there’s an interlude about a King and his servant or something? Ah now we go back to the music 'Son of a Thousand Nights' is a really nice soothing, melodic song.

  

'The Fourth Vanguard' takes it up a notch and brings some heavy riffs and really cranks up the majestic craft of these Roman aficionado’s.  Then we are back to the narrative, which as I said earlier ruins the whole album, this time it’s about a Black sun rising?  Now I recently championed a Danish band called For Century with their long, epic tracks and Wind Rose pull it off without exception on 'Majesty'.  Like the title of the song it is a majestic nine minutes long and is a journey of highs and lows. 

 

Another narrative, then 'Oath to Betray' like 'The Fourth Vanguard' is heavy and rocks along, with a harp in the background.  You don’t get much more progressive than that do you!  

 

'Oath to Betray' and 'Moon Tear Sanctuary' are both strong numbers, but again the mood is ruined by the narratives before we get the final song, which like 'Majesty' shines like a beacon on a pitch black night.  This is the albums strongest and most awe inspiring, absorbing song on here at nearly eleven minutes.  We get everything thrown into this one tune, folk metal, Power Metal, a smashing guitar solo that knocks at your door with a sledge hammer and AOR influenced choruses abound. I think this album will appeal to a wide audience but next time cut out the dialogue between the songs and let the music flow please.  

 

Review by: Seb Di Gatto

 Tracklisting:

1. Awakening
2. Endless Prophecy
3. The Tournament
4. Siderion
5. The Grand Match
6. Son Of A Thousand Nights
7. The Fourth Vanguard
8. Dark Horizon
9. Majesty
10. The Havoc
11. Oath To Betray
12. Led By Light
13. Sacred Fount
14. Moontear Sanctuary
15. Vereath
16. Close To The End

The Metal Gods Meltdown