Winds

The Imaginary Direction of Time

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Winds bring an equivalent mix of classical strings and metallic brawn to this album, although they fortunately don't fall into a time-honored rut of over-the-top guitars and solo virtuosos. This is true on the melodic "What Is Beauty?," which mixes a bit of Queensr├┐che, System of a Down, and Anathema throughout. A Roger Waters-circa The Wall delivery moves the song further toward a metal slant. Carl August Tidemann has a nice solo here without the classical guitar tone. "Sounds Like Desolation" opens with a disjointed piano solo before the brief instrumental morphs into the guitar-heavy "Theory of Relativity." The softer David Gilmour-like solo is another great asset before they up the sonic ante. What works for Winds is the band's ability to toe the line between strong arrangements that maintain a healthy amount of credibility and originality. Perhaps they venture down the same path one too many times, however, especially on the somber but orchestral "Visions of Perfection," bringing to mind Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" to a certain extent. The delayed harmonies on the song also give it a Queen-ish flavor. This is also heard in Tidemann's solos on the effort, recalling an early Brian May. "The Fireworks of Genesis" has an edgier style going for it, with the rhythm section building on each verse. The strings are unfortunately a bit of overkill on this studio-perfected song. One also expects them to break through with a hard, darker, and more punishing sound, but they rarely do. The concept of time is the biggest lyrical component to the record, but musically Winds go for the anthemic and grandiose arrangement time after time. As a result, the middle area tends to sag. "A Moment for Reflection" is darker to some extent, but vocalist Lars Eric Si relies on the winding nature of the song to carry it along a more melancholic path. The first true highlight is "Time Without End," where the tension is finally cut, but ebbs into a lengthy string and piano blueprint sans guitars. "The Final End" marks a seamless conclusion to "Time Without End," maintaining the same sound. By this time, however, it has become rather monotonous and dull to the listener.

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