By Dr. Abner Mality

Now this is what I call DOOOOOM metal! Wow! Richmond, VA's Windhand have provided us with one of the absolutely purest examples of doom I have heard in a long time. Not stoner (played out), not sludge (starting to get trendy), not occult retro-rock (thankfully), but utter 100% grave-robbing, skull-liquefying doom metal and nothing but!

Black Sabbath...Electric Wizard...Saint Vitus. These are the names that repeatedly come to mind listening to this creepy crawling creature. The warm fuzzed out heaviness of the guitar, the double-barrelled bass and drum attack and most importantly, the monumental RIFFS of doom are here in spades. The music of Windhand is very simple in construction and relies greatly on repetition...these concepts are easy to misuse and abuse, but in the hands of masters like these, they create a kind of mesmerizingly eerie purity that makes you feel like you're traveling by candlelight through a long abandoned insane asylum. "Black Candles" starts with sounds of somebody trudging through a graveyard during a storm and then erupts with one of THOSE RIFFS that immediately puts the seasoned doom fan in ecstasy. I can easily imagine Worm-scribe Earthdog having cosmic orgasms to this. Then come the vocals and this is where Windhand show they are more than just another doom band. The singer is listed as Dorthea Cottrell, which certainly suggests a woman, yet the vocals have a very clear and rather androgynous sound to them. There are guys who can sing like this, also. At any rate, the singing is clean, but done in such a ghostly way, you expect to see a shrouded specter standing at the mike.

ALL the tracks here follow much in the same fashion as "Black Candles" with little variation. But the hypnotic effect of the catchy, hypnotic riffing produces the true essence of doom. On "Summon The Moon", Saint Vitus is invoked so well that you could easily imagine that it is one of their songs with a different singer. "Libusen" and "Heap Wolves" are two more doom monsters and the five track album ends with the monolithic but slightly more melodic (very slightly) "Winter Sun".

Here we have the birth of the next true doom super band. Miss it at your peril!