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Lord Wind - Rites of the Valkyries
Review: Continuing the process of assimilating a new style derived from the values of the old, Lord Wind in this second release summarize the melodies of their first two works, as well as presaging what will come, and experiment with greater variation in instrumental so it more approximates the epic movie soundtracks that partially inspired this band. Melding the epic aspects of metal and movie soundtracks with the folkish melodies of neofolk, the listenability of synthpop, and the medievalist aesthetic of Dead Can Dance, Lord Wind create music in which to lose your sense of place and time.
Exhibiting a more Celtic flair to many melodies on this incarnation, which restates past themes and uses patterns universal to folk music which give it a repetitive outlook, this music like the writing of ancient philosophers and historians uses "ring composition," where it refers to itself and in each iteration of that self-reference augments the pattern, creating a final product like a ball of string that picks up its wandering phrases and re-integrates them into a dominant form. Much as its composition recurses, so does the progress between Lord Wind albums, with each new one picking up what has been done before and developing it further. This composer staggers his releases between assessment releases, where he tries out new styles, and completion releases, where he is able to match form and content and so produces his best work.
On this assessment release, music quality is good, but melodies are indistinct and often incomplete compared to the simpler but more effective Heralds of Fight. Sometimes using transitions like a death metal band, where texture and tempo and riff change at once, Lord Wind introduces new phrases with new keyboard voices, and tries for more "fills" between substantial melodic fragments, which creates more of a soundtrack atmosphere but, like soundtracks, makes this sound more pasted-together than its volkisch aesthetic would like it to be. Long songs develop slowly and often wander, at which point instrumental transition completes the drift. What this release will be remembered for most is setting the stage for the next Lord Wind, which completes this assessment into a masterpiece.