Released: 2015, Scarlet Records
I was really impressed by Windrose’s debut album from a few years back so I was very pleased to have the opportunity to listen, enjoy and review the new Wind Rose album, WARDENS OF THE WEST WIND. The band has graduated from the excellent Bakerteam Records label to take the next step to Italian Powerhouse label Scarlet Records.
The band has a new (and improved in my opinion) logo to adorn the very cool album art by the titanic Felipe Franco, who also did their first album cover. The line-up is stable except for a new bassist, Christiano Bertocchi, formerly of Labyrinth and Vision Divine. It was a pretty good score to grab him on the bass slot. He produced the bands first material, as well as the new album so it was natural that he joined the band.
WARDENS OF THE WEST WIND is a state-of-the-art example of Symphonic Italian Power Metal. slightly more streamlined and focused than the debut with fewer songs , fewer interludes, shorter songs and overall reduced running time at 50 minutes. In fact if you strip away the intro and instrumental interlude the album is only eight songs long.
Every song is a winner and full of raging, epic power. Lyrical topics cover pirates, gladiators, mercenaries and more. The big, backing gang-vocals add to the powerful sound. I feel the band has toned down the orchestral elements just a little bit and perhaps evolved into a bit more of a medieval sound. This time around Cavalieri sings in a slightly lower, gruffer register as well. All the songs have lots of speed, good galloping bass lines, Oddly enough, my favourite cut, ‘Rebel And Free’, with it’s rousing and powerful chorus of ‘Death To The Tyrant!, is sequenced last on the album. The band must have felt this was a strong track as well as it is the first video and single.
WARDENS OF THE WEST WIND came out in February and I hope beyond all hope that people remember this superb album when it comes time for the 2105 ‘album of the year’ lists. I will!