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Northwinds - Eternal Winter

Eternal Winter
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 13 December 2016, 11:45 AM

NORTHWINDS is a Doom Rock/Metal band, formed in 1987 in France. Some line-up changes delayed some of their recordings over the years, especially between 2005 and 2012. They are back now with “Eternal Winter” as their fifth, full-length album, containing seven tracks. “A Light For The Blind” is a fuzzy and depressing affair, with keyboards and flute that harken back to something you might have heard in the late 1960’s. The landscape shifts here and there as well, creating a mysterious atmosphere and eternal grey skies ahead. “Chimeres” is even slower, with a lumbering weight that looms over your head like a problem that has no solution, reminding you at every twist and turn of your life that you are ultimately doomed. The percussion further punctuates the point, and one riff really reminds me of “Symptom Of The Universe” by BLACK SABBATH. The evil created without it being overly heavy is noteworthy.

Bass guitar leads off the riff for “Crossroads.” The flute and keys are jovial over the inherent bed of doom and despondence, contrasting oddly but without repugnance. The title track opens with sounds that you expect to accompany the visual of the coming of winter…cold, harsh winds, and a sterile, despondent riff. The wah-wah pedal lead breaks and keyboards that sound like they come from a warlock lair on high add to this darkness. “From The Cradle To The Grave” is almost playful at times, while remaining under the weather. Is this a statement on the course of mankind in general?  “Inferno” has a long instrumental lead in, building in layers and background sounds that you have to really listen to in order to stay with the song. From there it picks up steam and stays pretty lucid through the remainder of the track. The four-note, progressively lower riff in the verses give it a very sinister sound.

“Under Your Spell” closes the album, at over eight minutes in length. The first two minutes are pretty straightforward, until the vocals come in, and it changes to a little more of an ambient sound. The flute keeps it somewhat folky and there is a long period of lamentation to end the track. Somewhere between THE DOORS and BLACK SABBATH, with a touch of pagan folk forest sound, “Eternal Winter” is a blissfully depressing album for the melancholy at heart.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. A Light For The Blind
2. Chimeres
3. Crossroads
4. Eternal Winter
5. From the Cradle To The Grave
6. Inferno
7. Under Your Spell
Thomas Bastide – Guitars
Sylvaine Auve – Vocals, Drums
Emmanuel Peyraud – Keyboards
Thomas Boivin – Bass
Record Label: Black Widow Records


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