WIND ROSE — Shadows Over Lothadruin (review)

WIND ROSE — Shadows Over Lothadruin album cover Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
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)
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