WINDHAND, STONENROW, Live at Six D.O.G.S Club (9/4/2014)

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STONENROW: Droney riffs, with early EARTH influences, blackened vocals, slow punishing drumming…Strictly for fans of noise and slooow stuff. Actually, taming the noise is not an easy thing to accomplish and their material is quite raw and unprocessed but it has parts of brilliance. They are not there yet but I think they are on the right path.

WINDHAND: In my book their not-so-traditional version of bonecrashing dark Rock was responsible for two all-time-classic Doom gems. It’s hard to believe that the band is able to reproduce the same feeling, with the same brain-melting amounts of fuzz, on stage but I hope that the expression “wall of sound” will do all the hard work explaining how they sounded Wednesday night. The stage proved too small to fit the surprisingly overkinetic 5-piece, and the venue was too narrow to restrict their massive riffs. As expected Dorthia’s vocals were kept low in the mix approaching the cold magic of the studio version. I wasn’t particularly excited about how she added a more jazzy feeling to her singing but that’s a minor detail. Unfortunately, the equipment gave them a hard time, to a point where they had to cut the last verse of “Woodbine”. At points the distortion was so high that their well-known and deliberate flirt with noise became an all-hell-breaks-loose kind of thing.
Bottom line: If you are remotely interested in heavy music ,watching WINDHAND live should be placed high on your priority list. Yet, you have to keep in mind that this band is heavily depended on its sound thus the equipment. So make yourself a favor and prefer to catch them at a venue with pretty solid equipment. Anything less is just unfair for this band.

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5 comments

  1. Hi dear Doctor, I saw Windhand in Tilburg on Saturday the 12th: on the main stage of the Roadburn Festival.
    i’m sorry to say that they had all the same problems with the equipment. I had HUGE expectations, because they are responsible of two of my favourite albums of this period… it was frustrating, really. Most of all for the voice. I am totally sure that they can do better and better then this with a little effort, because, in the end, I think they are responsible for this remarkable disapointment too. I look forwart to seeing them in Milan this week. Maybe they still can change my mind. 🙂

  2. sbiuttali

    Hi dear Doctor, I saw Windhand in Tilburg on Saturday the 12th: on the main stage of the Roadburn Festival.
    i’m sorry to say that they had all the same problems with the equipment. I had HUGE expectations, because they are responsible of two of my favourite albums of this period… it was frustrating, really. Most of all for the voice. I am totally sure that they can do better and better then this with a little effort, because, in the end, I think they are responsible for this remarkable disapointment too. I look forwart to seeing them in Milan this week. Maybe they still can change my mind. 🙂

    • Sad to hear about it.

      It was hard for me to figure out if the band was mostly responsible for the bad sound since I knew the equipment of the club I saw them sucks big time.

      I was also disapointed with the voice, not because it sounded baried but also because Dorthia tried to warm her tone a bit.

      Hope they do better in the future because their studio works are simply milestones for the doom genre.

  3. pretory

    Man, I’ve just heard the band playing at Roadburn. This band released two absolute doom milestones and is currently in the middle of an intense touring but still the five piece can’t manage its own sound and dynamics and the singer just can’t sing throughproperly. That’s not jazz, that’s singing disability.
    Besides, it would be clearly preposterous saying that the Roadburn equipment was not enough to stand the sound; such event is clearly unreal.

    They did suck on the main stage and when you play at Roadburn there’s no excuse.

    Believe me it is THE disappointment of the year.

    Cheers Dr.

    • I got a similar complaint so I think it’s safe to assume that they didn’t do well that night.

      To be honest they let me down too but not in the same extent as you I believe (and trust me I am usually the first one to cast the stone in anything I don’t like).

      I think Dorthia is a dicent singer and all her studio performances fit 100% with the style of the band. She does try to change her style a bit when on stage, by trying to add a warm tone in a way close to the jazz style (I insist on that) and I think that’s where she messes things up. Of course the fact that the band prefers to keep her vocals “in the background” doesn’t help much when on stage either…

      The way I see it is that they do need some extra work but judging from what I read about their Roadburn performance I come to believe that they must have had an unsually bad night.

      In any case, both their studio albums kick ass so time will tell if they are just another “studio band”.

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