Wind Rose – Wintersaga Review

Score9.5/10
GenrePower/Folk Metal
CountryItaly
Runtime49:59
Release Date27 September 2019
Record LabelNapalm Records

Well, summer’s over. That means the time for beaches, bimbos, and barbecues is at it’s end, being instead replaced by the dark, wind, and cold. However, this is the perfect season for a dwarf! And what better way to explore your potential dwarfhood than cranking out the meanest, mightiest of man-metal? Enter Wind Rose, Italy’s finest dwarf metal army, and their fourth album, Wintersaga. As the band’s most impressive album to date, it’s as if it was smithed in the forges of Khazad-dum itself. If its epic chants and upbeat hymns aren’t enough to get you into the season, they’ll at least get your blood flowing hard enough to keep you warm.

As usual, the Tolkein themes are strong in Wintersaga, as is evident in half of the song titles. Additionally, the album is split into two sections; the first contains the fun, catchy party tunes, and the second, which encompasses the final three songs, features a more power prog approach that hearkens to the band’s earlier works.

However, the core sound of Wind Rose has shifted as a whole from their progressive power metal roots to settle upon a more bombastic, anthemic sound in Wintersaga. Traces of their past are still present in the form of dynamic songs with multiple sections, especially in the nine-minute epic, ‘We Were Warriors’. There’s a heavy reliance on choirs and orchestrations to maintain an imposing atmosphere, but the heavy guitars and insane drumming give the album a mountainous foothold. On top of that, for such an in-your-face approach to metal, the transition between every section is seamless.

But the real power behind Wintersaga is the onslaught of chanted, mead-fueled folk melodies which would give even Alestorm a run for their money. Songs like ‘Drunken Dwarves’ and ‘The Art of War’ are sure to get all sorts of bottoms up. Even the heavier, more rugged refrains of ‘Diggy Diggy Hole’ and ‘Mine Mine Mine!’ will invoke a similar sense of merrymaking. The vocals are the lifeblood of this album, and they weld all the different pieces together.

Dwarf metal. How has such a simple idea never taken off as well as it has here? Besides running with a concept that simply makes sense for this kind of sound, the memorable arrangements and musicianship are as solid as can be, which makes Wintersaga amusing as well as a serious work of music.

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New Album Details From Wind Rose

Dwarven metallers Wind Rose have released the details for their forthcoming fourth album, Wintersaga. The album will be released on 27 September through Napalm Records and it will include their recent single (which was based on a meme), ‘Diggy Diggy Hole’.

The Italian power folk band promises that Wintersaga will be their most epic, anthemic, mead-fueled album yet!
Dwarves from all around the world, this September we will gather our axes and hammers once again to retake what belongs to us. Hear the call of the last moon of autumn, feel the approaching shiver of Durin’s Day, we will rewrite the books with a new story that begins with the Wintersaga”

01. Of Iron and Gold
02. Wintersaga
03. Drunken Dwarves
04. Diggy Diggy Hole
05. Mine Mine Mine!
06. The Art of War
07. There and Back Again
08. The King Under the Mountain
09. We Were Warriors

Go follow Wind Rose on Facebook!

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Singles This Week

This week, namely today, has been incredibly eventful in the world of power metal. Aside from the highly-anticipated comeback album of Tommy Johansson’s Majestica/ReinXeed, Above the Sky, we were blessed with an absolute assload of high-profile singles.

So, to keep you busy this weekend, take a look at what’s new in power and folk metal!

Elvenking – Under the Sign of a Black Star

Beginning with the one that I was the most excited for, Elvenking’s first single of Reader of the Runes: Divination (out 30 August) is finally here. It’s a great piece of power/folk metal, but it’s nothing special by Elvenking’s standards. The whole thing is really straightforward and, for some reason, the vocal mix seems to be quiet on all of the speakers I’ve heard it on so far.

Anyway, this definitely isn’t enough to drop my hopes in the upcoming album, because it’s pretty typical to save your best or most intricate tracks for the album release, but I’m hopeful that the majority of the album will be better than this one.

Elvenking – Under the Sign of a Black Star (AFM)

Turilli / Lione Rhapsody – DNA (Demon and Angel)

On the other side of my expectations, Turilli / Lione Rhapsody’s singles only get better and better. ‘DNA’ is epic as all hell, with intense symphonic elements and fantastic contributions to one of my favourite female vocalists in metal, Amaranthe’s Elize Ryd.

Make sure to check out Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution) when it arises on 5 July.

Turilli / Lione Rhapsody – DNA (Nuclear Blast)

NorthTale – Higher

The first NorthTale single is fucking incredible. Taken from their upcoming debut, Welcome to Paradise, ‘Higher’ achieves exactly what the band intended: to bring back a taste of early 00s power metal. The highlight of the track is toward the end on the solo section, so keep your ears ready!

NorthTale is a brand new international power metal supergroup. Included in its staggering lineup are Bill Hudson (ex-U.D.O., ex-Power Quest) and vocalist Christian Eriksson (ex-Twilight Force), who formed the band in 2018.

You wont want to miss Welcome to Paradise when it drops on 2 August!

NorthTale – Higher (Nuclear Blast)

Merging Flare – Alliance in Defiance

Finnish melodic metal masterminds Merging Flare are just a week from their upcoming album, Revolt Regime. In the meantime, enjoy this catchy banger and check out my full review if you’re too reluctant to hit that play button below.

Merging Flare – Alliance in Defiance (Ram it Down)

Moonlight Haze – Ad Astra

The female fronted symphonic power outfit Moonlight Haze has released a single from their upcoming debut album, De Rerum Natura, which comes out on 21 June. Judging by this track alone, De Rerum Natura will be a hit for fans of melodic, power, and symphonic metal acros the board.

This comes as no surprise to me, seeing as the lineup consists of members and ex-members of Temperance, Elvenking, Sound Storm, Teodasia and Overtures, as well as a few guest musicians from Epica, MaYan, and Elvenking.

Moonlight Haze – Ad Astra (Scarlet)

Wind Rose – Diggy Diggy Hole

Folk Metallers Wind Rose are here with a new bumbling single, ‘Diggy Diggy Hole’. I don’t have much to say about this Dwarven tune other than that it’s rough, manly, and I like it a lot.

Wind Rose – Diggy Diggy Hole (Napalm)

Lion’s Share – We Are What We Are

Along with the release of ‘We Are What We Are’, heavy/power outfit Lion’s Share have confirmed that a huge 23-song album will be coming some time in 2020. This will be the band’s first full-length in over a decade. No further details have been released yet, but stay tuned for more on that.

Lion’s Share – We Are What We Are

Twilight Force – Night of Winterlight

Wrapping up this blessed day are Twilight Force with ‘Night of Winterlight’. And, don’t worry, it’s exactly what you want to hear from them. Pure, cheesy, uplifting power metal with themes of fantasy and splendour. This track is from the band’s upcoming Dawn of the Dragonstar, which will be invoked on 16 August under the new partnership of Nuclear Blast.

Twilight Force – Night of Winterlight (Nuclear Blast)

If these songs aren’t enough to get you through the weekend, you can click the Album Release Calendar in the top menu and see what else is new!

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Stay Metal \m/