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Winds - The Imaginary Direction Of Time CD (album) cover

THE IMAGINARY DIRECTION OF TIME

Winds

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.96 | 59 ratings

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Elioglossia
4 stars Brutal necro black metal- it's what drum god Hellhammer performed in his seminal eponymous act of the eighties. His work was hugely influential to much of the current crop of black and death metal groups and in recent years he has performed as a guest on countless albums and has been a member of several bands.

His versatility is admirable, as evidenced in his role in the neoclassical prog metal band, Winds. It's a fair assumption that his involvement is what drew many people to the group, but this is a far cry from his extreme past and is more than worthy as a whole. Winds is one of the most faithful adherents to the spirit of true classical musical in the metal realm, along with acts such as Therion and Devil Doll. Their sinuous piano lines evoke great sonatas and nocturnes from composers like Chopin and Mozart, and their sense of layering and composition escapes many so-called neoclassical acts who are obsessed with indulgence.

The Imaginary Direction of Time is an existential voyage to the purpose of life. It "lives the questions", as poet Rainer Maria Rilke would put it. The primary focus of the music is the piano and violin, even though guitar and drums are characteristically metal. The guitar melodies on this are swirling forces of nature, which aren't particularly heavy or amazing, but come across as impeccably clean and precise. Hellhammer's performances are a little subdued compared to what he usually does, but you can hear slight blastbeat patterns occasionally. Still, he offers great variety.

Lars Eric Si an absolute gem of a vocalist. His voice is so unaffected and pure, and perfectly complements the sweet innocence of the string arrangements. On one occasion, however, he uses harsh vocals during a brief portion of "What is Beauty", but it doesn't take away from the experience at all. In fact, the hint of black metal darkness and desolation is intriguing. Also, this album has some of the best vocal harmonies since Alice in Chains, despite some of the 'gang' vocals sounding forced.

The Imaginary Direction of Time can be likened to an astral merry-go-round of progressive metal, but its intent is not really to shake things up. It's kind of a rhetorical album that's full of exquisite beauty, yet it's too shadowy and timid to be considered a classic. I would actually welcome more bands like this, though, and their music is a great backdrop for studious moments and contemplation.

Elioglossia | 4/5 |

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