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NORTHWINDS

Progressive Metal • France


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Northwinds biography
NORTHWINDS started as R.I.P. in 1990 with members Vincent Niclas (guitars,vocals), Sébastien Thuriez (guitars), Remy Rateau (bass) and Sylvain Auvé (drums, vocals). The main influences of the band were TROUBLE, SAINT VITUS, CANDLEMASS as well as 70s French Folk/Prog bands like ANGE and ALAN STIVELL. Remy then left the band for professional reasons and Slyvian was forced to take a break to fulfill his military duties. In 1994 the remaining members began recording demos and in 1995 after releasing their first demo, which shows influence from 70s Heavy and Progressive Rock, NWOBHM and Doom Metal, changed their names to NORTHWINDS after a song Vincent had written. Then Vincent got the help of a fellow musician called Marco to develop his songwriting in Folk music. NORTHWINDS entered at this time into a new chapter of their history with keyboards and flute becoming a trademark of their sound. The band then signed with Black Widow Records and released their first full length record "The Great God Pan" in 1998. The band then went through further lineup changes as Sébastien had to quit due to day-job duties. The band continued composing as a two piece with additional help from Marco. David Marcos soon joined the band as guitarist, but then suddenly took up a change in lifestyle and severed his ties with NORTHWINDS. Sylvian was also part of a SAINT VITUS, THE OBSESSED and COUNT RAVEN cover band and was prompted to offer positions in NORTHWINDS to his bandmates Thomas Bastide (guitar) and Benjamin Leclere (bass) who then joined and meshed very well. After concerts and recording sessions for their next full length album "Masters of Magic" in 2002 a keyboardist named Emmanuel Peyraud joined the band. Benjamin then left the band just after the recording of "Masters of Magic" and was quickly replaced by Thomas Boivin.

NORTHWINDS first record entitled "The Great God Pan" was a very new a fresh sound for the underground Doom Metal scene. Never before had a band in the genre blended together the sounds that NORTHWINDS did. The album is full of celtic instruments and prog folk elements as well as the sound that was popularized by Doom Metal pioneers such as BLACK SABBATH, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, SAINT VITUS, and PENTAGRAM. It is definitley not an album for an average Metal listener, but a true treat for fans of Doom and Progressive Rock alike. Their second album "Masters of Magic" is a superb progression from their first. It retains the sound that they created, but...
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ChimeresChimeres
CD+DVD
Black Widow 2006
Audio CD$21.99
$50.61 (used)
Sleep With Evil/6th Grade Field TripSleep With Evil/6th Grade Field Trip
CD Baby 2008
Audio CD$10.05
$37.86 (used)
WinterWinter
Import
Black Widow 2012
Audio CD$17.00
$27.24 (used)
Master of MagikMaster of Magik
Import
Black Widow 2005
Audio CD$23.19
$29.03 (used)
Great God PanGreat God Pan
Import
Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$19.99
$14.94 (used)
Master of MagikMaster of Magik
Import
Black Widow 2005
Audio CD$31.29
$10.47 (used)
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NORTHWINDS discography


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NORTHWINDS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 8 ratings
The Great God Pan
1998
3.46 | 9 ratings
Masters of Magic
2001
4.25 | 4 ratings
Chimeres
2006
3.78 | 9 ratings
Winter
2012

NORTHWINDS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NORTHWINDS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NORTHWINDS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NORTHWINDS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Northwinds
1995
5.00 | 2 ratings
Le Grande Dieu Pan
1996
5.00 | 2 ratings
R.I.P.
1996

NORTHWINDS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Masters of Magic by NORTHWINDS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.46 | 9 ratings

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Masters of Magic
Northwinds Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars The second album from Northwinds is unusual in the sense that both the first and last tracks do not feature the band themselves, but rather label-mates Death SS. Not having read the booklet or information at the time of the playing the CD for the first time, I thought that the introduction was going to be typical of the rest of the album. The atmospheric and emotive keyboards/vocals of "The Great Ancient" certainly do not give any indication of the music behind. Northwinds were formed in France in the early Nineties, but by my reckoning that was nearly twenty years to late for these guys.

Northwinds play doom on a grand scale, and to these sullied ears come across as a mix of Black Sabbath and Quartz. There is a lot of space within the album, and the band has a dreamy Seventies feel. They are not afraid to move away from the riffs to a much gentler and yet very intense style, with an organ that sounds as if started life many years ago.

There is certainly enough riffing to make this album appealing to Sab fans, but it is heavily tempered and the result is an album of class. It is sung mostly in English, although the sixteen minute epic "Entre Chien Loup" is in French

Originally appeared in Feedback #69, Aug 02

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 Winter by NORTHWINDS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.78 | 9 ratings

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Winter
Northwinds Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars French band NORTHWINDS was formed back in 1990, initially calling themselves R.I.P. but altering to their current moniker in the mid 90's. Since then four full length albums have seen the light of day, of which "Winter" from 2012 is the most recent. As has been the case for all their productions, this CD was released through the Italian label Black Widow Records.

If you're the kind of person that have Antonius Rex and Black Sabbath side by side in your music collection, enjoy the occasional Black Widow (the band) album or have a general affection for productions released by Black Widow (the label), Northwinds is a band you probably should investigate. And their latest production "Winter" appears to be a good choice in getting to know this band better.

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 Winter by NORTHWINDS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.78 | 9 ratings

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Winter
Northwinds Progressive Metal

Review by dtguitarfan

3 stars Winter is the fourth album by French band Northwinds, who have been classified in both the Doom Metal and Progressive Rock categories on various sites. Northwinds began as R.I.P. in 1990. After some of the original members left the band, in 1995 the first demo was released, which shows influence from '70s era Heavy and Progressive Rock, NWOBHM and Doom Metal. Also, at this time the band changed their name to Northwinds. Following this, the bands' sound changed and began to include keyboards and flute and some folk influence, giving Northwinds a more signature sound.

The immediate impression I got from the first track that stuck with me throughout the whole album can be summed up as: neo vintage. Right away, during the first track, I felt like I was listening to music that might have come from an old horror movie - it was kind of campy, but in an endearing sort of way. And then as the second track started, I was immediately reminded of old seventies era Black Sabbath by the sound and style of the guitars and drums. All throughout the album, the influences of hard rock and proto-metal bands from the seventies shine through, giving the album a classic rock/metal sound that is mixed with doom and folk influences. The band mixes in some interesting elements with synthesizers, organ, synthesized choir sounds (these last two often adds to the "old horror movie" feel), chimes, flute, and samples. These elements all come together to create a more rich, full atmosphere, and the various influences give the band a unique sound, and often result in creating a fantasy type of atmosphere. Perhaps the highlight of the album is the 22 minute long epic length title track, in which the band explores more of their progressive side as well. All in all, I believe this album would find appeal in fans of various genres, including doom, progressive, classic rock, and classic metal.

Originally written for www.seaoftranquility.org

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 Masters of Magic by NORTHWINDS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.46 | 9 ratings

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Masters of Magic
Northwinds Progressive Metal

Review by BornTooLate

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 defined...it'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::

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