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Windham Hell

Experimental/Post Metal

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Windham Hell Window Of Souls album cover
3.41 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Laceration Of The Soul (2:03)
2. Inversion Soil (3:30)
3. Clear Blue Plastique (4:19)
4. Ionic Abyss (3:49)
5. Excarnation (2:29)
6. Crepusculum (4:56)
7. Corporal Compendia (6:03)
8. Ashes In The Green Chair (1:55)
9. Sacromonte - Popocatepetl (4:38)
10. Spiritual Bleeding - Faces II (4:06)
11. The Rain (4:12)
12. Darkness Deluge (8:07)
13. The Last Of Summer (20:17)

Total Time 70:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Leland Windham / guitar, bass, vocals
- Eric Friesen / guitar, bass, drums

Releases information

Moribund Records

Thanks to Plankowner for the addition
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WINDHAM HELL Window Of Souls ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WINDHAM HELL Window Of Souls reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Window Of Souls' - Windham Hell (7/10)

Although Windham Hell is typically labelled as a neoclassical shred metal project, it certainly gives the wrong connotation about what this band is all about. Although this two man partnership is now defunct, shredders Windham and Friesen made some pretty chilling music over a trilogy of albums, and while I did not always like where they went with their music, I always respected the vision and intent behind it. 'Window Of The Souls' is the second in the trilogy, and it is arguably the best of the three. The music here is undoubtedly neoclassical metal, but the style has been tweaked to the point where it might be best to call Windham Hell something else all together.

Much in the style of artists like Jason Becker or Yngiwe Malmsteen, Windham Hell's primary draw are from the great classical composers like Bach, as well as the virtuosic violinists who would lead their concertos. The style is largely characterized by playing compositions with a puritanical devotion to theory and scale. As one might imagine, the style is sometimes condemned for what some consider to be a one-dimensional attitude in the music; focusing on speed and technicality over feeling. Don't get me wrong, I do love hearing Becker or Malmsteen now and again, but I would agree that it often feels like a vessel for egotism rather than earnest musical expression. Windham Hell now brings a new article to shred metal that I do not think I have heard before from it; atmosphere.

Windham Hell is best described as neoclassical shred filtered through a dark filter of atmosphere, most readily associated with black metal. The soundscape is filled with reverb and ambiance, and this is really where Windham Hell raises themselves up beyond just being another shred project. As is standard for this band's albums, 'Window Of Souls' also have ambient sections that use film dialogue from cult horror movies, and it fits in very well; parts towards the end gave me chills, and as far as ambiance goes, the sections of quiet really add to the effect of the album. The metal aspects of the album are also the best you will hear from Windham Hell. Much of the guitar work is true to neoclassical metal, worshiping scales and paying tribute to much of Vivaldi's work. The closer 'The Last Of Summer' takes the theme from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' and gives it a metal do-over; its nothing revolutionary or new, but it is done very well. There are scarce growls, but they are usually so drowned out in the mix that it feels unnecessary. This is not the only thing that feels a little flimsy in the recording. Although I cannot say I have heard a combination of styles like Windham Hell's before, it still suffers from a fairly amateurish sense of production. There are aspects here kike the vocals that more or less fail at doing anything for the music, and this takes away from the brilliant effect that the original feel of this album creates.

Windham Hell won't likely be making any more music now that Eric Friesen has passed on, but this album is a great thing; a unique and chilling take on a genre that usually does not see anyone experimenting with it. 'Window Of Souls' is my favourite of the three records that Windham churned out, and best balances their metal aspects with the dark ambiance that dominates the quieter side of their nature.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Original idea, this one. Someone has actually tried to fuse Yngvie Malmsteen like shredding with avant-garde grindcore. Well, it had to happen one day. The sound is not good. The drums sound is flat. The same goes for the vocals. The bass is not particular interesting too. The songs are barely ... (read more)

Report this review (#599765) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, December 30, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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