Released: 2001, Independent
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos
I was not sure what to expect from Wind Wraith. I had a vague hope that they would turn out to be power metal; with a name like that, and their cover art reminiscent of Roman ruins, it looked like a fair bet. I was surprised to hear a solid slab of meaty guitar work with a somewhat stonerish sound and a healthy helping of groove. THE FORTUNE TELLER’S GAZE flirts with power metal only at the very end (the track “Ancient Tales”) but never fully embraces it.
This band, apparently from New York state, plays fairly straightforward metal with some Kyuss-type “desert rock” influences. The thick keep-on-truckin’ riff in the title track foreshadows similar things to come, such as in “Shameless Desires” and “Tempted By Death.” There is some drier-sounding, more prog-metal type stuff as well (“High Hopes,” “Together Alone”) and even one ballad, “Watching Over Me,” which is done well, sounding sentimental without being silly. Considering that many well-established bands have yet to master that trick, I’d say Wind Wraith is doing very well!
The obvious strong point of this band is the guitars. All the guitar work here is extremely well done, and it sounds like a collective effort: lead guitarist Brian Fingerhut and rhythm guitarists Pat Blair and Diana Dellasala (yes, a female guitarist!) work very well together and, if they haven’t been playing together for a long time, they certainly sound like they have. Mr. Fingerhut rips out with some pretty impressive solos over the course of ten tracks. The vocals of Steve Ronsen are pretty competent and work well with this material, but I did have myself imagining what this band would sound like with a Halfordesque lungbuster! That isn’t a criticism, just a thought.
THE FORTUNE TELLER’S GAZE is a strong, catchy and enjoyable album, and Wind Wraith definitely has some talent. Traditional metal fans will really dig this if they don’t expect too much in the area of overt Priest/Maiden worship. To get this album, inquire at: P.O. Box 842, Bethpage, NY 11714-0842, or visit http://www.windwraith.com.