Wind Wraith - The fortune teller's gaze 3.5/5

Reviewed: 10-22-04


1. War in the sun
2. The fortune teller's gaze
3. Dragon rider's
4. Watching over me
5. Millennium horror
6. Wind wraith
7. Shameless desires
8. High hopes: The Amityville murders
9. Tempted by death
10. Ancient tales
11. Burning love (bonus track)

Ah, as Lizzy said, we all need American metal, and sometimes it's true. This is awesome metal that brings back that indescribable feeling of classic Metal Blade, of old Fates Warning, the best Steel Prophet, etc., wielding great, strong production with crisp drums, sharp guitars, and yet plenty of upfront room for the great vocal presence of Scott Oliva. This CD was originally recorded and released with a different vocalist, and I take it the change to Scott was an improvement, and I certainly love these vocals, quite a bit of Rik Mythiasin, not quite as high, and even more presence and strength, like Rik mixed with people like Nils Patrik Johansson and their strong delivery of the Tony Martin/Dio stylings. Amazing how familiar something like this sounds, based on all that 80s metal that filled our ears and souls, and yet despite a swamping glut of metal that fits into the melodic, power, and even traditional veins, mainly from Europe, it sounds so fresh lately, so different from what I've been listening to so much lately.

It should be mentioned that this band should not be confused with Exiled, which also holds the flag for American metal in a similar stance for descriptive purposes, but I found this CD more immediately engaging. Anyway, it's not to be confused with Exiled despite the fact they might also fit in the same category and have a CD called just 'Fortune teller'. I'm sure that will confuse some. Or maybe I'm just dense... As much as I love the European and South American metal, and so much of what it sounds like and stands for, and exult in how many dreams it's brought to life (like I could have imagined any band doing pure fantasy lyrics, much less massive quantities of concept albums), it just can't help feel so different from the immediate, personal, visceral impact of this style, and this reminds you of what you used to be listening to as metal. It also reminds you that a band can be heavy and powerful with midtempo songs mixed with upper tempo songs, a powerful ballad...You know what I'm talking about, heavy metal, even with a serious, complex, and strong edge, and that variations in tempo which was what a whole CD was supposed to be. Also, I had a chance to download samples before I bought this, and while I liked them enough to pick it up, they really seem to lack the pure heavy edge of the sound that the CD has. This band is based out of New York. More than anything, it directly recalls earlier Steel Prophet, but is overall just great, strong, American heavy metal. I recommend this CD!




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