WIND ROSE
Progressive Metal / Power Metal • Italy

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The project "Wind Rose" began in the years 2004 - 2005 and the initial components were Claudio Falconcini on guitar, Daniele Visconti on drums and Federico Meranda on keyboards. In the beginning the band did some performances as a cover band of various progressive metal bands (mainly Symphony X, Dream Theater and Blind Guardian) and after changing several na mes "Wind Rose" was been chosen in 2008. The three initial components are still inside the actual makeup but talking about the voice and the bass Wind Rose have been involved with many musicians: now the warm and powerful voice of Francesco Fagiolini and the 6 strings bass of Alessio Consani have completed the band since September 2009. After 6 months of work and composition Wind Rose recorded an EP divided in 3 tracks (Majesty, Oath to Betray and Led By Light) under the care of the artistic producer Cristiano Bertocchi, Vision read more...
Thanks to dtguitarfan for the addition and DippoMagoo, diamondblack for the updates

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.. Album Cover 3.50 | 4 ratings
Shadows Over Lothadruin
Progressive Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 4.51 | 3 ratings
Wardens of the West Wind
Power Metal 2015
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Stonehymn
Power Metal 2017

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Demo 2010
Progressive Metal 2010

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WIND ROSE Reviews

WIND ROSE Stonehymn

Album · 2017 · Power Metal
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DippoMagoo
One of the most surprising albums for me in recent years was Wardens of the West Wind, the 2015 release from Italian power metal band Wind Rose. I had been intrigued by the band after their 2012 debut Shadows Over Lothadruin, which was an interesting prog album that showed potential, but also had a lot of things wrong with it that really brought it down. So while I was interested in Wardens of the West Wind when I got a promo for it, I was absolutely shocked, both by how much I loved it and by how all the flaws from the previous album were fixed and the band had shifted styles quite impressively, going with more of a symphonic power metal sound, while still keeping elements of their debut. After how good that release was, I was excited to hear what they would do next and expected them to continue along the same path, but now their third release Stonehymn is set to come out later this month, and I have to say, the band has surprised me in an awesome way once again!

Wind Rose is an interesting band, in that so far each release has taken a fairly minor element from the previous album and expanded upon it greatly, making it the primary focus. For example, Shadows Over Lothadruin was primarily a mix of symphonic metal and prog, somewhat similar to Symphony X, but it contained brief bursts of power metal, which ended up becoming the main focus on Wardens of the West Wind. Meanwhile, that album was primarily a symphonic power metal release in the vein of Rhapsody of Fire, but it contained folk elements on a couple tracks, most notably on its closing track “Rebel and Free”, and on Stonehymn, this sound has taken over and become the main focus.

I’d say the best comparison to this album would be if you were to take the faster, more epic sections of bands like Ensiferum and early Turisas, remove the growls and then make that into an entire album, then you’d end up with something similar to Stonehymn. Of course, Wind Rose have still kept their own sound intact here, so the symphonic elements from previous releases are still used at times, choirs are still used a ton, power metal riffs remain a driving force and even the prog elements from the debut are still there in bursts, but the overall sound feels very fresh and new, with much more of a folk element than past releases. There’s a ton of epic gang vocal sections, group chants and all kinds of folk instruments used throughout, with many instrumental sections that would usually give way to guitar solos on most albums instead turning into interludes where various folk melodies are played, and this adds quite a lot of flavor to the music. The metal elements are still as present as ever, though, with the guitars still playing a big part, and there are some great riffs here for sure, especially during some of the mid-paced sections where the prog elements come in, and there are some nice sections where keyboards take over as well, but I find the folk elements add an extra layer to the music and are certainly much more prominent and more effective than I would have ever expected.

Vocals remain a strong point for the band, and if anything I’d say lead singer Francesco Cavilieri sounds even more comfortable with this sound than he did on either of their first two releases. He has a very deep voice with just a bit of a wild edge to it that fits in perfectly with folk music, and he’s equally effective at reining it in a bit for softer sections or going full out for epic, heavier sections. There’s still some epic choir vocals as on the previous album, though I find on this album gang vocals play a much bigger part, with most choruses and other big vocal sections having a ton of supporting vocals from the other band members, and there’s lots of fun chanting style vocals as well, which bring a lot of energy and fit in great with the folk elements. It really does feel like the band fully committed themselves to the sound they wanted on this album and did everything they could think of to pull it off perfectly.

The songwriting on Stonehymn is interesting, in that it’s a rare case of me not being at all bothered by a lack of variety in the tracks. Honestly, most songs here do follow a formula, where they tend to start out quietly, with soft sections where the folk elements dominate, then the orchestral elements and metal instruments kick in the and the music speeds up, which tends to happen at the start of almost every track here. No songs stay slow throughout, and there are also no songs that are really speedy every second of the song either. Usually, this kind of approach to songwriting would bug me, but there are a few reasons why it doesn’t in this case. The first and most obvious is that the folk elements are used so effectively, even if the songs themselves are all similar, there are so many interesting sounds here and so many epic melodies, I find myself enjoying every second of every track. Secondly, the band plays with so much energy, especially during the faster sections, that I simply can’t help but love it. And lastly, every song on its own is just so well written, with the right mix of catchy choruses, epic vocal sections, fun verses, great folk and symphonic sections, and just a ton of great surprises, that the lack of variety in songwriting ends up not hurting it at all. There’s also a lot going on in each track, as well as tons of tempo changes, with most tracks seamlessly going from slow to fast or mid paced to fast pretty much out of nowhere, and the band pulls this off extremely well, so the songs all flow perfectly.

Because of the approach to songwriting, it’s hard to do a full song by song breakdown, but I can say every track is fantastic and they all have plenty of memorable sections. There’s two brief instrumentals here, the intro track “Distant Battlefields” and “The Animist”. The latter is a nice folk interlude, while the former has a nice mix of orchestral and folk elements, with its main melody being very memorable and returning throughout the first full track “Dance of Fire”. In fact, one early highlight is during the first verse of “Dance of Fire”, where after a fun speedy intro, it slows down and brings back the main melody of the intro track, except here Franceso sings and it makes the music feel all the more epic, Then after that, the track speeds up and continues switching tempos throughout, with many epic vocal sections and a huge chorus.

Tracks like “Under the Stone” and “Fallen Timbers” use the folk elements to enhance the music throughout, with the former in particular having an epic use of gang vocals and folk elements leading into its chorus, while has nice folk melodies in its intro, but they mostly move along at a very fast pace throughout, with power metal elements being dominant, only occasionally slowing down a bit for some more progressive sections. Both tracks are awesome, fluidly mixing elements of folk and power metal, with the latter in particular having possibly the best chorus of the album and being probably my favorite track on the album. Other tracks like “To Erebor” and “The Eyes of the Mountain” use more extended slower sections, with the latter in particular probably being the most symphonic track on the album, using big choir vocals during its chorus and the orchestras have a much bigger presence on that track, though folk elements are still there at times. Meanwhile, “To Erebor” is probably the most folk-infused track on the album, with everything from its intro to the epic chanting vocals of its chorus and the tribal-like sounds used at various points, all giving the track a strong folk feeling. One point early on even reminds me of a certain Turisas track from their second album, though this doesn’t last very long, and gives way to the epic chorus.

On the softer side, “Returning Race” is the longest track on the album and also one of the more interesting tracks. It uses acoustic elements effectively early on, with the music giving the feeling of a sort of a tavern song during its early sections, and it effectively mixes these sections with speedier sections, with the tempo changing throughout and there’s quite a lot going on. It’s definitely a track that showcases how well Francesco’s vocal fit in on a more folk-infused album, as he sounds amazing during the softer sections here. Also on the softer side, lead single “The Wolves’ Call” starts off slow and the whole track makes very good use of extended calmer sections to build up to brief explosive moments, with the chorus, in particular, starting out very calm and then speeding up and becoming more and more epic as it goes along. The final run through the chorus is stunning and one of the highlights of the album.

Wind Rose surprised me big time in 2015, and they have done it once again in 2017! Where Wardens of the West Wind showed a promising band fully living up to their potential and then going much further to fully blow me away, Stonehymn is in some ways even more impressive, as it shows the band willing to move a bit away from what worked so well previously, and into something new, but manages to pull it off just as impressively. Fans looking for another symphonic power metal release may be disappointed, but as someone who always enjoy hearing power metal and folk mixed together and has been sad to see this mix of genres not being used too often in recent years, this release is just as pleasantly surprising for me as the band’s previous release, and stands as one of my top two albums for the first half of 2017. Fans of power metal and folk metal are highly recommended to give this album a listen, as it pulls the two styles off brilliantly and is one of the best releases I’ve heard from either genre in the last few years.

originally written for myglobalmind.com: http://myglobalmind.com/2017/05/14/wind-rose-stonehymn-review/

WIND ROSE Wardens of the West Wind

Album · 2015 · Power Metal
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DippoMagoo
2015 has barely even begun, and I already have a strong album of the year contender, from a very unexpected source. Italian band Wind Rose released their debut Shadows Over Lothadruin in 2012, and it was an interesting release. A conceptual album with fantasy themed lyrics along the lines of bands like Rhapsody of Fire or Ancient Bards, and yet musically the band played a brand of melodic prog, in the same vein as Symphony X, but with increased symphonic and folk influences. On the whole it was quite the unique album and represented a promising start, with potential for much greater things. It was obvious the band had the talent to go places, but the release was brought down slightly by inconsistent songwriting and an overabundance of interlude tracks. For their sophomore effort, Wardens of the West Wind, the band has ditched the conceptual approach, which has resulted in an album that’s all killer with absolutely zero filler.

In many ways this seems like a much different band than the one that released Shadows Over Lothadruin, even though their only new member is ex-Labyrinth bassist Cristiano Bertocchi. The prog leanings are still there in bursts, but on the whole this is largely a symphonic power metal album, with faster, heavier and more immediately gripping songs than their debut. At times the Symphony X influence still shines through, but for the most part this album is much more similar to bands like Rhapsody of Fire and Dragonland. While the musicianship was already strong on their debut, on this release it has improved quite dramatically, with everything sounding fantastic, from the explosive guitars and drums, to the epic keyboards and orchestrations, and even the folk instruments which appear on and off throughout many of the tracks.

The area where Wind Rose has improved the most, though, is in the songwriting department, and it starts with the lack of filler. This time around, there’s a very nice intro, as well as the ecellent folk interlude “The Slave and the Empire”, which serves as a very effective lead in for one massive barn burner of a song in “Spartacus”. Aside from those two brief instrumental tracks, the rest of the album features eight full length songs, and each one delivers instant satisfaction. The opener “Age of Conquest” is one I suspect will possibly be my most played song of 2015, when the year is over. From the opening choral section to the explosive first verse, the song comes storming out of the gate, and then the chorus hits for the first time, in all its glory, followed by a surprisingly heavy riff, and then the song turns into a progressive symphonic power metal epic that rivals the very best of them. One thing this track demonstrates is that even though this album has some unbelievably catchy choruses, the songwriting is quite advanced, as even a seemingly straight-forward song like this one goes through several transformations throughout, and it’s made all the more awesome for it. While this track has proven to be my favorite, the rest of the album certainly isn’t far behind.

Another area of improvement instantly showcased on “Age of Conquest” is the vocals. I liked Francesco Cavalieri on their debut, but on this album he sounds much stronger and more powerful than he did before. He has a gruff voice, but with the ability to put in some extra touch when in needed, somewhat similar to Russell Allen. The vocal melodies in general are simply spectacular, and he performs everything effortlessly, from the more aggressive vocals at the start of “The Breed of Durin”, to the more melodic vocals on tracks like “Heavenly Minds” and “Skull and Crossbones”, to the just plain epic vocals found throughout most of the album. Even more impressive are the choir vocals, which are at times operatic, but many times they sound more like big group chants. The harmonies are all performed flawlessly, and greatly enhance the music, standing out as one of my favorite features on an already amazing album.

As much as I love the opener, “The Breed of Durin” is almost as impressive, and is another song that explodes at the beginning, with an epic speedy opening verse that hooks the listener in instantly, and then takes it to the next level with another unforgettable chorus, and some pretty awesome surprises in the second half. Tracks like “Heavenly Minds”, “Ode to the West Wind” and “Born in the Cradle of Storms” are more progressive, and rely more on the keyboards and orchestrations. For the most part, these tracks are more subdued, but the melodies are simply fantastic, and they each have frequent tempo changes to liven things up. The latter two in particularly get more and more impressive as they go along. Rounding out the songs, we have two more instant winners: “Spartacus” has perhaps the most epic choral vocals on the album as well as some of the best orchestrations, while “Rebel and Free” has the strongest use of folk melodies, complete with Francesco sounding more like a folk singer on that one song, and doing an excellent job of it.

I have to admit: I never saw this one coming. I saw great potential in Wind Rose on their debut, but with Wardens of the West Wind they have upped their game to unexpected levels, all the while delivering an epic symphonic power metal album that quite frankly crushes anything offered up by other bands in the genre last year. I can’t give anything but the highest of recommendations to any fans of symphonic power metal or progressive power metal, as this album is simply fantastic, and I feel confident in saying it will be at least in my top 5 albums at the end of 2015.

(originally written for myglobalmind.com: http://myglobalmind.com/2015/01/09/wind-rose-wardens-of-the-west-wind-review/)

WIND ROSE Shadows Over Lothadruin

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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prog61
I state that I am a fan and a musician of progressive rock, in fact I wrote reviews on "Prog Archives" since many years; in general I like Metal a little less, but I find very interesting the progressive parts of some metal bands. I know WIND ROSE because they live in my town, Pisa (yes, the one with the tower!), and I must say, despite being them basically a power metal band, this band has a very strong progressive component. I have heard from a few days this their first album and I loved it! I already knew the 3 tracks of their “Demo 2010” (Majesty, Oath to betray and Led by light), which are reproduced in the album with new arrangements: these three songs are definitely attractive, powerful and melodic, very well played and with breaks in pure progressive mold. In particular, the central parts of "Majesty" and "Led by light" (which is very different from the Demo) are really exciting. The rest of the album, based on a fantasy story, told through interludes narrated, has two power style songs, such as "Endless prophecy" and "IV vanguard", which are very good and imaginative, and a song in folk style, "Siderion", absolutely exceptional and innovative: in some ways reminds me of "E’ festa-Celebration" by PFM, but with a charge and a very impressive pace, and I think that this "Siderion" may represent a workhorse of the band in concert! No one could miss in the album some quieter and more melodic songs: "Son of a thousand nights" is a beautiful and very passionate ballad, with many references to Symphony X and a final poignant; "Moon-tear sanctuary" is instead an acoustic song, almost in Jethro Tull style, with an atmosphere and a melodic taste truly impressive. Then there's the epic finale, "Close to the end", which contains all the features of this band: melody, imagination and power. In short, a great debut for this young band (they are all in their twenties); they certainly have some things to improve, especially in some vocal parts and some guitar solos, but despite this, “Shadows over Lothadruin” is one of the most beautiful albums of recent times in the field of metal and beyond. 9,5 / 10

WIND ROSE Shadows Over Lothadruin

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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adg211288
Shadows Over Loathadruin is the debut full-length album by Italian progressive metal act Wind Rose, following a 2010 demo release of which all the songs have been included on Shadows Over Loathadruin. The album was released in 2012 and is a fantasy themed concept album, following a story by the band’s guitarist Claudio Falconcini.

The music of Shadows Over Loathadruin is highly symphonic progressive metal, which also draws on power metal in smaller amounts and even more rarely folksy melodies performed within the symphonic context. To reinforce the concept of the album Wind Rose have opted to go for the narration approach throughout the release, which ultimately also give it some qualities of a spoken word album. Unfortunately I find the use of the narration to be something of a hindrance to my overall enjoyment of the release, however this is not the main reason that I find Shadows Over Loathadruin a letdown after the 2010 demo.

The reason I am speaking of is that the album lacks consistency to my ears. While I enjoy the tracks from the demo same as I did before, particularly Oath To Betray and Led By Light it’s only really Close To The End, the album’s final track, that stands up to them out of the new material presented on Shadows Over Loathadruin. The rest is not bad, but it is unable to stand out as well as the tracks I’ve mentioned so when those tracks hit the ears, the flaws within the bulk of the album become quickly apparent, although I do also enjoy to a lesser extent the occasionally folk based Siderion and the more power metal fuelled moments like The Fourth Vanguard. Coupled with the admittedly not constant but still overuses narration this all makes most of the album vary between poorly realised conceptual interludes (six tracks don’t even clock in at one minute) and tracks that seem uninspired to these ears. A shame, because when Wind Rose does something to take note of, they do something that is really great. In some ways they remind me a more progressive Kamelot. They have pretty good musicianship and vocals, but they need to do that little bit more in order to give the album lasting value.

The few really good songs push it into above average territory but otherwise Shadows Over Loathadruin hasn’t been a very satisfactory release for me, although it is not an unpleasant listen as such. There is potential here though so hopefully they will improve down the line but ultimately this is a step down from a decent demo.

6.3/10

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org) on 04/09/2012)

WIND ROSE Shadows Over Lothadruin

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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dtguitarfan
Wind Rose is an Italian Prog Metal band that started in 2007 as a Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Blind Guardian cover band. Along with these influences, the band also sites Turisas, Angra, Avantasia, Ensiferum, Adagio, Howard Shore, Fairyland, and Opeth as main influences.

Shadows Over Lothadruin is the first full length album (the band released a Demo EP in 2010) and is a concept album set in the fantasy land of Lothadruin. The album plays almost like a musical or rock opera, with narrative scenes in between many of the tracks, to aid the listener in understanding the story. The plot revolves around a young man named Meador, the son of a king named Hagan, who lives in the secret court of Gyalon. Their citadel is threatened by the shadow enemy, who is working to spread his shadow empire throughout the land. The king's brother, Garosh, had given the enemy information on a way into the hidden citadel of Gyalon, and the hero Meador saves himself and a few others, going on to raise an army to defeat the enemy and avenge his homeland.

Musically speaking, the album is a somewhat enigmatic combination of Symphonic, Power, and Progressive Metal, in a way that makes it hard to figure out which of the three this band would fit best in. Vocal harmonies, almost choral sounding, are prominent in the style. There is a cheese factor present that is somewhat typical of the three genres I mentioned above, but to me it seemed that this was presented in a way that made it endearing rather than off-putting – although I would critique (a small critique that seems minor to me) that the narrative cut scenes could've used better acting as I felt a little unconvinced in that area. Though the band did not list them as an influence, the combination of the music and story, and the way they were presented, reminded me of some of the Rhapsody (later to be renamed Rhapsody of Fire) concept albums. But the Progressive influences of Symphony X seem to be heavily present as well, especially in songs like "Majesty." This band has a very good sound, with a rich layer of the guitars and keyboards combined with the heavily harmonized vocals. And it seems there is great crossover appeal present with the Symphonic, Power, and Progressive elements that are scattered throughout the album, as well as some Celtic elements in some places. This is a wonderful debut that leaves me excited to see what this group will do next. And I cannot close out this review without at least mentioning the cover art – what a fantastically rich album cover that gives fuel to the imagination, complimenting the story told throughout the album quite well!

Originally written for www.seaoftranquility.org

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