Release Details

LABEL Relapse
RELEASED ON 9/18/2015
GENRES Doom,Stoner
  • An excellent example of semi-melodic doom with themes of melancholy and fatalism.


Windhand

Grief's Infernal Flower

posted on 10/2015   By: Dave Schalek

I’m a little late in getting to Grief’s Infernal Flower, the second full-length album from Windhand, which has been languishing on my various devices for quite awhile. No matter; the wait is worth it as Grief’s Infernal Flower is an excellent example of semi-melodic doom with themes of melancholy and fatalism.

The fuzzy riffs, a slow pace, and the drawling, depressed vocals of Dorthia Cottrell are the bread and butter of Windhand, and Grief’s Infernal Flower is loaded from top to bottom. “Two Urns” and “Forest Clouds” set the tone as the album’s openers with pleasing vocals from Cottrell overlaying the riffing from guitarists Asechiah Bogdan and Garrett Morris. Immediately, Cottrell’s vocals have more of a lilting sound than what appeared on Soma, and the production here seems to be a bit more fuzzed out and muted. The slightly different approach works well as Grief’s Infernal Flower ends up being lighter in tone, enhancing the feelings of sadness that persist throughout.

I’m sure that this is exactly what Windhand seems to be going for with Grief’s Infernal Flower, which comes across as a concept album with thematically linked songs; at least, in tone. The tone is emphasized by two acoustical tracks which effectively split the album in half. “Sparrow” appears at the midway point as the album’s fifth track and highlights Cottrell’s vocals with a pleasing strummed riff, and “Aition”, which closes out the album with a folk melody that reminds me of Simon & Garfunkel for whatever reason. Regardless, the approach is effective as the somnambulism feels complete at the end.

Some criticism may be leveled at Windhand due to the album’s length, which clocks in at over 71 minutes. The two songs in between “Sparrow” and “Aition” are quite long at nearly fifteen minutes apiece and could probably benefit from a trim as the album tends to meander a bit in the later going.

This is a minor criticism, however, as I find Grief’s Infernal Flower to be a pleasing entry in the melancholic doom genre.