Doom metal may not be the type of genre you’d think a band can establish itself in. However, Virginia’s heavy act Windhand is putting all preconceived notions to rest. Since its founding in 2009, the group has put out three full-length albums — making noise and garnering admiration from the likes of Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and NPR. Windhand is set to play The Chapel on Friday night, a show that is sure to leave a surreal impression (tickets are still available at the door).
In 2010, just over a year after the band’s birth, the Virginian quintet consisting of Dorthia Cottrell (vocals), Garret Morris and Asechiah Bogdan (guitars), Parker Chandler (bass), and Ryan Wolf (drums) released a practice space demo made up of two tracks, “Black Candles” and “Winter Sun”. This was the first time Windhand was introduced to the world and it was no surprise when they immediately drew comparisons to European metal bands like The Devil’s Blood, and perhaps most intriguingly Black Sabbath.
Fast forward two years later and the band quickly solidified itself as a force within the metal scene with the release of their self-titled debut album. The LP went on to become an underground hit and sold out on multiple presses in a matter of months. Following the success of their debut album, Windhand signed with Relapse Records who released their latest LP Griefs Infernal Flower on Oct. 14.
With heavy stoner guitar noise, the banging of rhythmic drumming and bass, all accompanied by Cottrell’s enormously powerful vocals, this album instantly takes you into a dimension of absolute chaos and destruction. The album opens up with “Two Urns”, an eight-minute track that begins with dual guitars ripping trance-like chords, followed by a locked-in drum beat pierced by Cottrell’s sinister-like voice.
The new LP also contains softer songs rather than stoner noise and doom metal. The ever frail and gentle track “Sparrow” brings a message of the disappointing realities of mortality and its effects on love, which is easy to discern over a soft acoustic melody.