Northwinds – Eternal Winter

Northwinds
Eternal Winter

Released: July 10th 2015
Prog Rock/Trad Metal
Released via Black Widow Records

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It’s my personal opinion that some sub-genres have been expanded repeatedly to the stage where certain fringe elements are no longer a part of the original movement in any recognisable way. Some atmospheric black metal, to me, just isn’t ‘black’ in any shape or form. Likewise, and probably even more so, the ‘doom’ moniker has been diverted from what it means to me, and, I can imagine, to a vast number of metal aficionados. Northwinds are one of the bands that fall outside of the bracket they have self-chosen; the latter above-mentioned category of doom.

I can certainly see that, if you were to pick out a cross-section of young-ish metal fans of today, you’d find that the ones most likely to give this band a warm welcome would be those obsessed with the slow dirge of doom, but that doesn’t make them any more of a doom band than Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. That might sound like a slating, but it really isn’t. I love classic rock (another designation with moving goalposts), and that is most certainly what this is.

I can’t help but feel Northwinds are missing a trick by not playing on that a bit more. All the original bands who they bring to mind – Black Sabbath, Angelwitch, Rainbow, and the like – are slowly but surely coming to end, as much as we hate to hear it. Although those progenitors of metal were most certainly the founding fathers of the doom genre, Northwinds sound more like one of them than a band influenced by them. They are a fairly long-running band, but not quite that long-running.

This is a solid player, straight out of the 1970s, and if that’s what you’re looking for, this will most definitely hit the spot. Let’s face it, if you don’t occasionally feel like getting your trad metal fix, you probably don’t get metal in general, and Northwinds are tapping right into that old time vein.

3.5/5

Paul Macmillan

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