Founded in Tuscany in 2009, Wind Rose has now released five studio albums, with the most recent, ‘WARFRONT’ on June 10th, 2022 via Napalm Records, being their biggest debut yet! Featuring well-received singles like “Fellows of the Hammer” and “Together We Rise” which have garnered more than 1 Million Views collectively over YouTube in under 3 months, this album easily earned a top spot in my Albums of the Year for 2022. No, I’m not even kidding, I CANNOT get enough of this album!
With their first single dropping just over 3 months ago, “Gates of Ekrund” has, itself, gained more than 1 Million views on YouTube and was our first taste of what was to come from Wind Rose after their latest album ‘Wintersaga’ debuted in 2019. With popular tracks like “Diggy Diggy Hole” and “Drunken Dwarves” raking in views, and remixes topping playlists, it seemed only fitting that Wind Rose would unleash fury in their teaser single that would keep our ears glued to the Metal scene awaiting more.
As I’d previously reviewed, here, “Gates of Ekrund” came in under the Warhammer banner, recounting the battle at Ekrund, a former Dwarven Stronghold, until months of bloody battle found the Dwarves defeated by the Greenskins.
This album is, itself, a battlefield, with emotional introductions, and battlefield anthems that move you from sorrow to fury in seamless transition, as if you’re part of the cinema scenes yourself. “Of War and Sorrow” is a short track that leads the way for Wind Rose but, carefully uses instrumentals and orchestration to craft the beginning of a tale that drops us into the forge; adorning us in Mithril, and pushing an axe into our hands, we are to fight alongside our brethren.
“Army of Stone” follows with a teeth-grinding guitar introduction that gets your head swaying, and your body moving. The heavy start with shield-shattering drums, and soaring riffs forge the path before us, leading us into forgotten holds, stone cold with their forges long quieted, to witness the Army of Stone, laying dormant until their need comes again.
The third track, “Tales of War” takes us through timeless tales; of ancient stories and adventures backed by a powerful melody that aids in capturing the visuals that are lyrically painted before us. It’s a speedy track, taking us from Tavern to Battle in the blink of an eye with hastened, heavy drum beats, and grinding guitar strings echoed by choir-like vocal prowess.
“Fellows of the Hammer” has gained more than 100, 000 plays across Spotify, and more than 180, 000 views on YouTube in under a month of its debut. It’s a gently-caressed introduction, dropped by strings into a pit of fire and flame that puts you in the front lines, marching forward. The lyrics in this track grip you with hearty hands, pulling you into a grand embrace for you are blood of the Dwarven Clans, and now you are reunited in the forge, to be reborn, and to fight alongside your kin for the future of your people.
“From the deep a song will rise in the dark. Hear from afar its call. When the fellows of the hammers, Sing from the night til’ the rising morn.” – a small verse that quickly captivates, pulling you in until you’ve had this song on repeat so many times you can sing along with the same passion and intensity as when this song first hit your ears.
“Together We Rise” as to be the most popular of the Wind Rose single debuts, with more than 600k streams on Spotify, and nearly 1 million views on YouTube, this track truly united the Metal masses for an anthem. As I’d previously written here this track brings almost a Progressive Metal, or Industrial feel to its introduction that widens the eyes and truly grips you with its battle-like riff from the very beginning.
This track quickly grew on me, earning it a spot as one of my favourites from the album by melody alone. However, the lyrics quickly summoned me back, for replay after replay, we lines like “we are the fire for the smithery, we are ready to burn” and “rise with force through the fire you’ll stand with us” putting you amongst the Dwarven ranks, ready to fight and fall for the cause. Easily a track that commands full volume, and if you aren’t singing along by halfway through, I suggest you restart it.
Tracks like “One Last Day” and “The Battle of Five Armies” are over-shadowed by the popular singles but, are deserving of MUCH more love. With each track recounting their own tales, and trials, these tracks that come closer to the album’s end are underappreciated.
As a LOTR mad-fan, “The Battle of Five Armies” is my favourite of the duo; a slower track that focuses on the story-line through its lyrical prowess, backed by an emotional melody that’s boosted by deep drumming and carefully timed guitars that add to the sorrow, desperation, and heart-ache of this track’s origin. For anyone who has seen The Hobbit films, or better yet, read the book, you’ll know of Thorin’s desire to return to Erebor, and reclaim the Throne beneath the Mountain from the clutches of Smaug.
With tear-jerking lines like “is it fate that is binding your hands, when in life or in death you obliged to stay,” your eyes close to see your dead brethren before you, fighting for you, and for your homeland as you’d done long ago. “For the Gold beneath the Dragon’s lair, they will fight once again.” It’s a long-track, deserving of each verse that carefully retells the battle, and the desperation Thorin’s company faced in an attempt to reclaim their home.
With this album running nearly an hour in length, it’s truly a journey that’s painted through emotional heartache, suspense, and memory. From re-living old tales by the fire, to facing battle alongside those you’d not seen in centuries, you feel as if you’re right in the thick of each and every song.
From “Of War and Sorrow” carrying you in on its instrumental march, to “I Am The Mountain” and its lonely lyrics, to the finale in the fire-side ballad of “Tomorrow Has Come” and its delicately-timed acoustics to pluck at your very heart strings.
Each song on the ‘Warfront’ album has been meticulously crafted to put you at the center of each song’s core. Whether to place you in the heat of battle, with a sword in your hand, or with a heavy sigh in a fireside circle, you relive each melody as if it were a part of your own history, and for that, Wind Rose once again rises to the top, once again shattering the expectations we had, to break our shields, and leave us in awe of what they’ve created. And now, I will throw on my ‘there and back again’ Wind Rose tee and re-listen to this masterpiece AGAIN for myself!
You can snag your own copy of ‘Warfront’ off their bandcamp link – here , via their website link through Napalm Records.