Winds
Prominence and Demise


4.0
excellent

Review

by The Green Scarf Bandit of Italy USER (17 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2009 | 11 replies | 3,519 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Featuring performances from Hellhammer, Dan Swano and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Also, the bassist of Ulver.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Awaking in a perfect place
To the nice smell of roses

It seems to me that progressive metal (or any progressive act for that matter) has trouble staying coherent and understandable. Many progressive bands I have stumbled across are literally falling apart, unable to maintain any sort of structure. The choruses are actually minutes apart, placed on either end of sprawling verses that have no relevance or consistency whatsoever. With this kind of formula, massive ten to twelve minute songs dominate the track listing, and although they may seem enjoyable the first time through, they have very little replay value because they simply become too boring.

Many progressive acts also are unable to write understandable lyrics which mark their work as taboo for anyone that enjoys singing along to their music. This is quite obviously the case with bands like The Mars Volta, whose lyrics have been described as "tripe" by our very own John Hanson. Although lyrics aren't very relevant in metal these days, they are of the utmost importance in lighter shades of music. Winds may be a "metal" band, but the vocal performance is more than ninety percent singing and complete lyrical retardation isn't going to fly with everyone. Fortunately Winds, doesn't write lyrical retardation.

Befallen through the will of my savior's grace//my undying hope through life's progression//The one to show me a way in this forsaken place//to cleanse the madness of my transgression//

Aside from having excellent lyrical concepts, the vocal delivery of Prominence and Demise is spectacular. The vocals of Lars Si are somewhat dry and depressing and the listener may find them unappealing at first, but after a few listens they become much more enjoyable. Also, Prominence and Demise features several performances by session vocalist Agnete Kirkevaag. Her vocals are just as bleak and depressive as that of Lars, but the inclusion of dual vocals makes the album much more enjoyable and interesting. Not to mention, there are few guest performances from the legendary Dan Swano. Although I am not a fan of Swano’s work I understand this will be greatly appreciated by my peers.

Musically, Prominence and Demise is a quite a mixed breed. The actually music is very similar to the efforts of Arcturus (which is understandable considering the guitarist was originally from Arcturus), giving off an avant-garde feel while maintaining a hugely epic feel. The songs are quite long, a few being over eight minutes, but I have listened to the album about five or six times, and none of them drag or become even the slightest bit tired.

The guitar receives the vast majority of attention during the instrumental portions of the album. Solos are frequent and consistent, often emulating the neoclassical blitzkrieg-shred style of Necrophagist front man Muhammad Suicmez. The drums are also quite above average as they are handled by master session musican Hellhammer. This is does not necessarily mean that the drums are excessively fast, they are in fact quite standard in speed, but they give off a powerful feel that plods along with the crunching guitar verses without interrupting the flow.

Aside from the standard instruments, Prominence and Demise also relies on several more classical instruments to bring their music to life. Pianist and lyricist Andy Winter is a full time member and unlike most pianists, his work is not over-shadowed by overbearing guitar riffs. Throughout the album, his piano melodies are very clear and audible, providing the songs with a very relaxing feeling that allows the minutes to just slide right by. In addition to piano, Prominence and Demise also features an entire strings company including two violins, a cello and a viola. The quartet emphasizes a great deal on the tragically epic emotions of the album.

In essence, Prominence and Demise is an excellent progressive avant-garde album for those that enjoy the works of Opeth, Arcturus or even non metal fans looking to immerse themselves in the genre.

Awaking in a perfect place
To the nice smell of death



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While I’m rating this album a 3, perhaps the more discerning prog fan would give “Prominence And...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zip
June 22nd 2009



5313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Meh review. Good album tho.

Spare
June 22nd 2009



5223 Comments


summary intrigues me.

jingledeath
June 22nd 2009



7104 Comments


definitely got me interested but I probably have to much on my plate right now

FistfulOfSteel
June 22nd 2009



894 Comments


definitely got me interested but I probably have to much on my plate right now


123, so much new shit coming out this year mand what not im experiencing overload right now. band sounds great, meant to check them out a while back cause of Hellhammer. this is going on the to do list.

Zip
June 22nd 2009



5313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I buy like 10 albums a week so I dont have this problem.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2009



8223 Comments


well I like to delve into the albums I buy/dowload, so I listen to less different artists than about 50% of the sputnik community, but the ones I listen to I listen with care. And the point of that statement was that if the others are having an overload atm, try to guess how its like to be in my shoes. Album seems very interesting so I should get, I'll add it to my to-do-list, but I can't promise you that I'll get on it right away

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2009



15781 Comments


This is a good review, but I could never get past this guy's vocals. I've never tried this album but maybe a guest vocalist will help.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

fireaboveicebelow
June 22nd 2009



6837 Comments


I have reflections of the I, if this isn't any better I probably won't bother

yas666eer
June 22nd 2009



269 Comments


yeah hrd reflections and I.. wasn't all that great... but will chk this out

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2009



15781 Comments


None of the ones before this are very good, actually. This may be listenable though.

Spag
April 5th 2013



1672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that avatar...



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