Since they announced the start of the recording of their third album with Jack Endino, Windhand‘s Grief’s infernal flower has been put on the most anticipated list of release. Despite being mostly famous for his work with Soundgarden and other « grunge » bands such as Tad, Nirvana or Mudhoney, Endino was probably the best choice for such a 90’s influence band as Windhand. Grief’s infernal flower finally sees Windhand bridging the gap between grunge and sludge to create a more personal record and also a collection of insanely memorable songs. The kind of tune you will be hard pressed to get out of your head even after hearing them all day long.
If they were previously comparable to Electric Wizard, this third album pushes the reference even more away thanks to a more dynamic rhythm. The tone of the guitar still gives a sludgy edge to the songs but they are far from the syringe scraping sound of EyeHateGod or the weed fueled insanity of Bongzilla. Songs like Tanngrisir, Hyperion or Two urns dance with My Bloody Valentine‘s melodies thanks to the softly sung vocals of Dorthia Cottrell while the guitars of Asechiah Bodgan and Garrett Morris pull all the brakes on the same kind of riffs Soundgarden‘s used to write.
At their most memorable, Windhand used to bring to mind the Smashing Pumpkins but now they sound like a completely different band, more in control of their influence and more focused on creating together a cohesive melody. Hyperion is probably the biggest single on this album with its beautiful mix of infectious heaviness and gorgeous vocals.
While every song on Soma was memorable, putting a 30 minute long tune at the end hindered any repeated playing for more casual fans of sludge and doom. Now with only four minute less than on Soma but with a total of nine songs instead of six, Grief’s infernal flower is also more diverse and offers a more fulfilling experience even if two of the latter songs are fifteen minutes long. On them, Windhand can become sludgier and let the cloudy solos explode in a maze of delay (Hesperus) and become darker than they ever were.
Even if Soma was a great album, Grief’s infernal flower is a more accomplished recording with even better songs and more memorable choruses courtesy of Dorthia Cottrell backed by floor destroying riffs from Asechiah Bodgan, Garrett Morris and bassist Parker Chandler while drummer Ryan Wolfe offers the kind of discreet but effective performance required to let the songs breath and move as slowly as they should. Without making any compromise, Windhand have created an album that will help them gather more praise than ever before.