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