Originally written by Ryan Plunkett
Winds is the perfect name for this band, because as soon as you get your first taste of what this album is all about, you’re surrounded by a whirlwind of amazing musicians.
Reflection of the I is one hell of a mind-blowing album. It combines progressive metal with neo-classical elements which blend perfectly into one spiraling masterpiece. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one because often times progressive metal is hit or miss for me, but this album is performed flawlessly. From each strike of a piano key, to the crash of a symbol, to the final note of a solo this album, just melds together seamlessly.
It’s no surprise that the drums are played to perfection with Jan Axel von Blomberg, aka Hellhammer, behind the kit. His technical drumming techniques hold as true here as they do with any number of the other bands he plays with, from Mayhem to Kovenant.
Carl August Tidemann is an amazing guitarist. Although most of his guitar work is dominated by technical mastery with amazing solos, he is still not afraid to go into a crushing riff or two from time to time. His guitar work is something else, though – kind of like listening to something by Yngwie Malmsteen, but with more feeling and solid songwriting behind it.
Andy Winter does an amazing job with the keyboards. Not to mention, he is backed by members of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Winter is also the main-man behind most of Winds’ songwriting. He is able to create beautiful, emotional music and make it look so easy.
Finally, we come to the last piece that completes the puzzle: vocalist Lars Eric Si. His powerful voice commands your attention, but never does it aim to detract from the rest of the musicians. What helps add to his vokills is the dark spoken word by Drajevolitch, which surfaces from time to time. Imagine something in the vain of Peter Steele from Type O Negative and you’ll begin to have an idea of his voice. It helps keep the dark elements of the album profound.
Andy Winter actually produced this album himself and did a fantastic job with it. You could go through the sound of this album with a fine-tooth comb and still have a hard time finding a flaw in the production; it’s crystal clear from beginning to end.
This is a release that is not just limited to those who enjoy metal – this is a release that can be enjoyed by anyone who truly loves music. Reflections of the I is the product of musicians who have fully mastered their instruments (and voices), but no one ever pushes to stand out more than another. Instead, they come together as one and create a one of a kind experience that has to be heard with your own ears to really appreciate.