Wind Rose – Warfront (Napalm Records)Monday, 13th June 2022
Creating a category all their own, Italian quintet Wind Rose deliver dwarven power metal – chock full of folk spirit and fantasy, Tolkien, and Warhammer themes for album number five in Warfront. Raising sledgehammers adorned in throwback gear to embody the lyrical concepts put forth, listeners can expect stirring anthems loaded with appropriate cinematic orchestration, cultural musical hooks, plus gang-like choirs that encourage audience supplementary voicing to unify the band and followers as one.
The fun aspect of the keyboard sequences, guitar riffs, and rhythm section foundations can’t be ignored – perfect for the one-of-a-kind, bard-like mid-range delivery of singer Francesco Cavalieri to glide over the top when handling songs such as “Army of Stone” and battle worthy “One Last Day”. Often the listener can close their eyes and see a cinematic, grandiose landscape from ancient times as the galloping guitars and fancier crash cymbal hits take “Tales of War” into highlight territory – drummer Federico Gatti flexing his power metal chops against some intricate off-time keyboard/guitar syncopation. While most of the tracks come in at radio-friendly four to five-minute timeframes, when the band choose to go a bit more adventurous and epic for “The Battle of the Five Armies” and “I Am the Mountain”, it’s apparent that tempo variation, larger choir/ orchestration use, acoustic nuances, and dynamic versatility strike the right chords – garnering as much attention for people who love Ensiferum and Turasis as much as Blind Guardian or Orden Ogan. The stunning cover also provides a window into what to expect for those uninitiated to the ways of Wind Rose – a bearded dwarf in his battle gear armed and ready for the next attack.
We all need those records that suspend reality, where gaming and fantasy meet as you transport yourself to a world that lets all your struggle and strife fade away. Warfront checks off all those boxes for those who love folk-infused power metal that engages your voice, joining the legions in dwarven revelry.