The metal scene in Norway saw the birth of many interesting musical collaborations between members from different bands. In fact, I don’t think there’s a single musician out there with at least two side projects besides his/her main gig. Winds is such a band, featuring members from Arcturus, Mayhem, Age Of Silence and Jack In The Box. Prominence And Demise is their third and sadly final release. It was released back in 2007. Let’s take a closer look nonetheless.
The musical basis of Winds evolves around the virtuoso play of Carl August Tidemann (guitars) and Andy Winter (keys). Both are heavily influenced by classical music, hence the often baroque feel of Winds. Jan Axel von Blomberg provides the technical backbone with his signature drumming style, while Lars Eric Si adds another dimension to the music with his powerful yet delicate vocals.
Unlike The Imaginary Direction Of Time and Reflections Of The I the band chose to pursue a more metallic and progressive course on Prominence And Demise. This translates into longer and more adventurous compositions, but above all a heavier feel. Songs like Universal Creation Array, The Grand Design, Fall And Rise and The Last Line are clear examples of that.
The band also decided to step up in the vocal department by enlisting several guest vocalists, including Lars Nedland (Borknagar, Solefald) and Agnete Kirkevaag (Madder Mortem). This adds more texture to an already very diverse and adventurous album.
Despite the apparent surplus of talent Winds never indulge themselves in long and narcissistic solo spots. Their ability to let the classical elements flow effortlessly with the metal parts is simply breathtaking. It gives Prominence And Demise an almost royal kind of grandeur.
Prominence And Demise sadly turned out to be Winds’ swansong. It’s still a very powerful and commanding album to this very day and I would love to see a reunion of these guys. But if that never happens I guess it’s still better to burn out than to fade away into mediocrity.