Windhand’s new album Eternal Return was mostly written in the winter, and it’s pretty apparent upon listening on the slow burner “Grey Garden.” Although the doom metal four-piece typically write dense tracks, things feel particularly heavy and atmospheric on this one in a way that only seems reinforced by dark wintry days. On the upcoming record, you can expect to hear a sound more strongly beholden to late ’80s and early ’90s grunge in addition to the band’s signature touches of weighty psych rock. It’s not just the weather that spurred this sonic change, but also a lineup switch, and the mourning of an expected death.
Eternal Return is the band’s fourth full length album, as well as the followup to 2015’s crushing, Grief’s Infernal Flower. More importantly, it marks a rebirth for the Richmond band and a way to breathe new life — and sounds — into their music.
While six minutes may seem like a long stretch of time for an average listener, it’s a fairly succinct track for a band whose songs usually clock in around the 10-minute mark. Last we heard from the band was the 14-minute “Three Sisters” off their split with Satan’s Satyrs in February. But don’t get me wrong, six minutes is still plenty of time to get lost and maybe even pummeled by the sheer force of it all.
On this track, Dorthia Cottrell’s listless vocal delivery levels the blown out distortion and hefty percussion. “Isn’t it all a mess?/ Soon it’ll go away,” she sings in a way that seems like maybe she herself isn’t quite convinced by the sentiment. It certainly signals a shift into a more reflective direction, but one that makes sense in light of recent circumstances. Thanks to Jack Endino’s stellar production, the entire track burns through smoothly while maintaining its intense momentum.
Windhand are gearing up to hit the road this fall on a North American tour in support of the new album. Listen to the colossal “Grey Garden” via its lo-fi music video below via NPR.
10/08 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl #
10/09 New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa #
10/10 Houston TX @ White Oak Music Hall #
10/11 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada #
10/12 Austin, TX @ Barracuda #
10/14 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister #
10/15 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar #
10/16 Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre #
10/17 Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club #
10/19 Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theatre #
10/20 Vancouver, BC @ Venue #
10/21 Seattle, WA @ Neumos #
10/23 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge #
10/24 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room #
11/01 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts #
11/02 Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere #
11/03 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall #
11/04 Montreal, QC @ Le Belmont #
11/05 Toronto, ON @ The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern #
11/07 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean #
11/08 Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe #
11/09 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club #
11/10 Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi #
11/11 Nashville, TN @ The Basement East #
11/12 Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar #
11/13 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups #
11/15 Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry #
# – w/ Satan’s Satyrs
Eternal Return is out 10/5 via Relapse. You can pre-order it here.