Richmond, Virgina’s Windhand cut their teeth worshipping at Iommi’s school of a thousand riffs, fusing classic churning doom as smooth as melted chocolate with Electric Wizard-ish bong-cloud obscured psychedelia.
Sparking your natural highness, the band locks into a mesmerizing sprawl of epic, doomic heaviness, a trancelike reverence that inspires lethargic, hypnotic head banging and is embellished with enough hazy psych to be a tripped-out soundtrack for some obscure war on drugs propaganda film.
Meanwhile, vocalist Dorthia Cottrell‘s hellish howl beckons from the distance, swathed in distortion, transcending any earthly ideas of gender, and positioning the band firmly in the discussion with the best of the current crop of female fronted metal outfits.
Windhand‘s S/T was definitely THEE psych / doom album of 2012, while anticipation of the band’s upcoming album – Soma, due out in September on Relapse – is reaching a crescendo that will continue to build throughout the year and culminate in their main stage set on Saturday, April 12 at Roadburn 2014.
Inter Arma‘s Sky Burial is a serious contender for this year’s Roadburn Festival-related album of the year. Also emerging (like Windhand) from the seemingly ever-fertile metal breeding grounds of Richmond, Virginia, Inter Arma sports a sound that’s difficult to pin down, as it continually changes and surprises with each passing album track.
Sky Burial starts with a strong dose of the industrial infused black metal of Volcano-era Satyricon, then takes a decidedly Pink Floydian left turn for the next two tracks (the first is acoustic and the second of which culminates in an unexpectedly raucous blast of Cascadian black metal).
They then introduce truly hellish sounding occult doom followed by caustic, repetitive noise rock in the vein of Unsane. They continue with epic, abrasive, majestic doom with vintage Gibby Haynes-style menacing vocals into another foreboding acoustic track and cap the album off with the title track, a noisy, doomy, mathy, blackened rock and roll experience that is rippling with evil and menace.
Their set will be a constantly evolving, emotionally devastating experience that is sure to leave us all uncomfortably numb.
Both Windhand and Inter Arma seem poised to rank among the regal line of iconic Relapse bands, and we can’t wait to welcome both bands on Saturday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.