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Northwinds - Masters of Magic CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.46 | 11 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars 4.5 It's always been something special to me when you find a band that is virtually unknown in the large world of underground music. It's like having your own secret place; a place deep in your mind that you can hold onto. That's what it was like for me when I found the band NORTHWINDS. Their music creates an extremely special place in the deepest parts of my mind.

This was the second album I heard from them, the first being "The Great God Pan", and I must say that it took a few intricate listens to really sink in. It's not that the music is overly complex though, that isn't what NORTHWINDS is about at all. It's the thick ethereal sound that they create full of strange, yet extremely lyrical melodies; it's the riff that is sometimes so long you don't quite comprehend it upon the first listen and the magnificantly unique tone among other things that makes this album worthy of several listens just for full comprehesion.

The music of NORTHWINDS is instantly recognizable as influenced heavily Doom Metal bands such as the might BLACK SABBATH, SAINT VITUS, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, and PENTAGRAM. But NORTHWINDS has something that these bands never really had, and I'm pretty certain it's nothing that can be's something completely new. This album is a definite progression from "The Great God Pan" and exhibits this new unnatural sound where as the first album was mainly complex doom with progressive and folk elements.

The vocals of Vincent and Sylvain on this album are haunting and beautiful. It is rather impossible to tell them apart, but at times you can hear them both singing and tell when they trade off (I have noticed that one of them has a slightly thicker accent). That brings up another topic...they sing with an incredible French accent that makes the music so much more exotic and interesting to listen to. The guitar work on the album is nothing impressive, but it is so important and perfect for what they are trying to accomplish. The distorted guitars are among the warmest and thickest tones I have ever heard. The guitar riffs are also unlike any others that I've ever heard; creative and imaginative beyond belief. There is also great keyboard work that thickens the sound even more. Most important are the melodies of NORTHWINDS. They are exotic, lyrical, and among the most beautiful I've ever heard...especially in the epic song Entre Chien et Loup.

There are so many other areas I could touch on when reviewing this album...the arrangements, the orchestration, use of ambience, unique harmony...the list goes on, but I want you to listen for these things and not let me ruin them for you. There is actually only one flaw I have come across in this album...and it took several listens and quite a developed ear to find. Dynamics. This is especially true on the track Over the Mountain. Between clean passages and heavier passages they is little if any dynamic diversity at times. Again...this is minor, but for me it does take a little away. The whole album isn't plagued by this, but most places could use more delicate attention to dynamics.

I will end this review on a positive not and say again that this is one of the most creative albums I have ever come across...the sound NORTHWINDS achieves is just one of pure uniqueness. Pyschedelic, Heavy, Progressive, Beautiful, Mournful, Imaginative...this is NORTHWINDS.

***NOTE***That main riff on Entre Chien et Loup...what a punch in the mouth...I love those ::drool::

BornTooLate | 4/5 |


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