The Eagle Angle

‘Eternal Return’ review: Orchestrated chaos

Alex Prock, Staff writer

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Windhand’s new album, “Eternal Return,” sounds like the embodiment of long hair, denim cutoff vests, band patches and bongs; and they do it quite well. They never seem to disappoint when it comes down to towering, crunchy guitars, swirling psychedelic guitar solos, lingering and hard-hitting drums with sporadic fills, heavy bass and hypnotizing vocals. Windhand has a knack for getting my attention right at the beginning, with jaw dropping, headbanging, doom metal riffs. The first track, “Halcyon,” is a perfectly executed, grotesque example of this, taking only eight minutes to pull you into the makeup of Windhand.

Looking through their past albums, it seems like they’ve decided on sticking to the same musical style on most of their albums, but I like that and can respect the grit. “Grey Garden” has my favorite guitar solo on the album. For a minute, lead vocalist Dorthia Cottrell takes you on this transcendent musical trip, and then, out of nowhere, Asechiah Bogdan and Ryan Wolfe finesse and steal the song with a hard-hitting, face-melting solo. They brought the whole song full circle in the best way possible.

“Pilgrim’s Rest” was the song this album could have lived without; it was a chore to listen to because it wasn’t even really that bad, it just kinda derails the mood the album puts me in and doesn’t live up to the first two songs.

But if you sit through those three minutes and 17 seconds you won’t be let down.

“First To Die” puts the album back on track right from the first second. Cottrell’s singing is powerful and easier to hear, and she keeps all the chaos tamed. This song shows you the powerful set of pipes she’s got lodged in her throat, one of Cottrell’s talents she is known for. Furthermore, “Light In The Dark” was the most trippy track on the album, carrying this eerie, Jimi Hendrix concert vibe along with it. It’s beautifully orchestrated chaos, and the noise never ends, it just fades off. The song is almost like a small intermission with just the band, a nice break from Cortell’s singing.  

“Eyeshine” is the complete opposite of what “Light In The Dark” was, though. This song starts off with the most sludgy, heavy bass guitar I’ve heard in awhile. It’s definitely a doom metal song, serenading the devil. Not only that, but the guitar solo on this track just echos straight from endless tunnels and bottomless pits.

Windhand does a great job wearing their influences on their sleeve; producer Jack Endino once again really helps the band incorporate their musical influences into the album, like Nirvana, The Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins. The last track, “Feather,” shows their influences and how they bend it to their own, in the thirteen minutes it lasts. That twangy Fender Strat, clean guitar embraces that ‘90s Nirvana vibe, accompanied by Cottrell’s soft voice, and around five minutes in, the crunchy guitars take over, fulfilling the loud-quiet-loud template that grunge used.

“Eternal Return” is a great new edition to Windhand’s discography of drooling, heavy music, and another great showcase of what the band does the best: psychedelic doom metal. Even though the songs shake house with their walls of devil noise, I don’t feel like they tried something new; honestly, I think they’ve been doing the same style. However, they do it well, and this album has definitely become my new favorite of theirs. I was left more satisfied than disappointed, which is a win in my book, so this album deserves a B+.

 

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About the Writer
Alex Prock, Staff writer

Senior Alex Prock likes listening to all kinds of music, getting paid and getting cool stuff for cheap. He doesn’t know what he wants to do in the future...

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