Windrow - Trilogy 4/5

Reviewed: 8-8-08





Tracklist:

1. Always in silence
2. I am the king
3. Tears of anger
4. Victory
5. Wings of fate
6. Fury of the will
7. Someone may think we are losers
8. Golden heart
9. The hole
10. The seventh prophecy
11. Eagle fly free (bonus track)


Today's massive metal world has its positives and negatives, but one negative for bands is that it's harder to get a record deal, especially for the bands that can't seem to creep out of the underground. One such band is Windrow, an Italian power metal band that I've had my eye on for a few years. They recorded 3 albums early in the decade, that being their short 'Like an angel' (2002), their full-length 'Return of the eternal gods' (2003) and their full-length 'The seventh prophecy' (2005). Unfortunately, the band couldn't obtain a record deal for any of these, and to this day they have never been pressed onto CD and are now considered demos. 2007's 'Trilogy' is the band's first pressed and released CD, though it's self-released, as the band is still seeking a record deal.

Since I'm a major fan of Italian power metal, Windrow's situation has left me with feelings of sympathy, as I know there are other Italian bands in the same situation and I want to see the Italian power metal scene stay alive for many years. Fortunately, I was finally able to establish contact with the band and they were happy to send 'Trilogy' to me (as well as some of their demo material), for simply being a "fan". Since I had never seen the CD for sale anywhere, I was very eager to receive it and get it spinning as soon as possible. What's most surprising however, is that after throwing this into my CD player right away, I learned that Windrow is actually a very high quality Italian power metal band and I've been scratching my head since that day, wondering how these guys have gone so many years without picking up a record deal.

There are a few things that stood out right away with 'Trilogy'. Firstly, the band features your typical high-pitched (falsetto) Italian vocalist, Pino Chirico, who's also the vocalist of the band Timestorm, who released the very solid 'Shades of unconsciousness' in 2000. To my knowledge, Timestorm is still active and are working on their 2nd CD. Anyway, while Pino's vocals won't be for everyone, fans of Italian power metal will feel right at home with his performance, and for me personally, it's been really cool to hear him 8 years after 'Shades of unconsciousness', a CD that I still listen to on occasion.

The other thing that stood out with 'Trilogy' is that there are 2 guitarists, Giuseppe Longo and Flavio Cicchetti, and these guys are truly fantastic guitarists. In fact, I've struggled to think of a recently released Italian power metal CD with better guitar work than what's on display here. While most Italian bands greatly rely on keyboards for melody, there are very little keys present on 'Trilogy'. Well-played guitar work is definitely the band's focus, and after much consideration, the band comparisons that have come to mind are Projecto, Soulblaze, Ancestral, Shadows of Steel, Heavenblast, Sigma, Morgana, Shining Fury, Odyssea and Highlord. But remember, some of these bands contain a lot of keys, so you need to envision them with less of the keyboard element.

Thankfully, 'Trilogy' contains a lot of speed, and there are numerous times on the CD that take me back to Italian power metal of the late-90s and early-2000s. Plus, there's killer guitar solos present on probably every song, an aspect that I've always liked about metal in general. The band slows things down a few times to bring in some variety, but for those who must have a lot of speed, you should be plenty happy. My favorite song is track 4 "Victory" as, simply put, it's catchy as hell, but there isn't one song on the CD that I don't like. However, I should also mention that the closer "The seventh prophecy" is a monster that's over 10 minutes long and is excellent from start to finish. There is also a hidden bonus track at the end of the CD, "Eagle fly free", a Helloween cover that was also recently covered by the French band Alkemyst on their CD 'Through painful lanes'.

What we end up with is an outstanding power metal CD with lots of terrific guitar work, strong vocals, and catchy song after catchy song. I will say however, that 'Trilogy' is probably only recommended to lovers of the Italian power metal scene. So if you've never cared for Italian power metal, this won't be the CD that will bring you into the style. Personally, I'm very happy that I was able to finally get this, and I truly hope the band can get a record deal, as it's a shame if this CD and the band's future CDs aren't heard by the many Italian power metal fans.



CLINT




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