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Look To Windward - The Assemble EP CD (album) cover


Look To Windward


Experimental/Post Metal

3.06 | 6 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
3 stars A taste of what's to come (or already has).

Look to Windward is a new New Zealand prog metal band that fuses alt rock elements with some really great tech prog metal elements for a zesty new brand of music. The two man band has quickly gone from bedroom-producers to a small, but considerable following. Seeing as they are independent and from New Zealand, an international audience may have seem far fetched, but thanks to a few posts on the ProgArchive forum (or at least that's how I found them), many more people now know of this fantastic band. The Assemble EP is a taster for what has appeared on the latest (and first) studio album, Fortunes Haze. The music is a tasty mix of metal, and I strongly support getting a copy of this EP.

Vad 'skan Sade starts the album off with a jazzy twist, throwing in some brass with some cool jazzy guitars. The song then flows into a symphonic grace period, mixing some zesty metal with orchestral beauty. Somehow, the band is able to fuse some cheesy keyboard voices with intense and heavy guitar work to make a really epic piece of music. The whole track contains countless ideas melded together in absolute grace and lucidity. A great opener, to say the least.

Assemble, the "title" track, could be seen as a little weaker than the opener, but still has a very strong output. From the start, the song has a throbbing groove metal feel, with djenty guitar riffs and some great screaming vocals. The song even spaces out a little with some more ambient guitar solos and backing tracks. The song then proceeds to breakdown into a mellow melodic section with some cool percussion and spacey guitars. The slightly distorted vocals are little out there, but the backing band does make up for it with some cool extreme metal backings. Overall, this song has many more weak spots that the last track, but still outputs a strong effort.

Danger Eyes is certainly my favorite track on the EP. The opening riff is highly inventive and infectious to listen to. The song really shows the band's creative talent and technical ability. This song has another melodic and mellow/ambient breakdown, with some odd mixings of quiet vocal harmony and randomized clean guitar chords. The song is able to weave in and out of these sections, peppering in a few harder hitting metal sections with some softer sections, making this another exceptional track of a rather exceptional release from this new band.

ALBUM OVERALL: Look to Windward has done a great thing with this EP. Releasing it as a free download on their Bandcamp, they allowed everyone to taste some of the best music off of their debut album. And with this taste, I got hooked. The three tracks featured show the band's intense talent and creativity within a genre that often lacks creativity. The production is highly professional, which is great for a basement recording session. However, the reason I didn't give this a 5 star rating is mainly because all it is is an EP with some tester tracks, and although they are great, they really aren't the most essential thing. If you want good LtW, get the debut album. 3+ stars.

Andy Webb | 3/5 |


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