Windmill – Dance of Fire and Freedom

Band: Windmill
Album: Dance of Fire and Freedom
Release Date: 17th January 2020
Record Label: Unsigned

This is another one of the long overdue reviews of an EPK I received last year. I was approached by Jan who asked if he could sent me Windmill’s upcoming release. I apologise for not getting around to listening sooner. If you follow my Facebook page or know me personally, you know that other things in life got in the way, and I’m starting back up again in 2020 with a new flame to get things moving again!

The intro track Iskry is a mainly acoustic intro track, with piano, acoustic sounding guitar, and drums. Further on, flutes come in, and at the very end, the drone of an electric guitar starts, which leads straight into Taniec Ognia i Wolności. The track picks up pace with the flute melody, and there are some harsh vocals when the track is heavy, and contrasting that is some clean vocals when the interludes are on. During the main parts of the song, it’s definitely one to headbang to.

Triskelion has a slower pace than the previous track, and there’s more clean vocal. However, it’s still got a dancey rhythm to it, particular with a bouzouki (I think) leading the melody. Matoha has a more ritualistic and sinister intro, introducing a jaw harp into the main mix for the first time. It’s got a more marching pace with the harsh vocals, and has a more oriental and slavic feel to the instrumental. There’s also guitar solo for good measure.

Nadchodzi Burza begins with a storm, and quickly the flute takes over what would traditionally be the lead guitar role in heavy metal. There’s a catchy melody and there’s even a guitar solo performed by the flute. Wyraj is a track that I’m not as keen on, and I unfortunately feel the same about its successor Północny Wiatr as well. They’re mid tempo, with clean vocals, and there’s not a lot of variety in the tracks for me. It’s disappointing for me, but this is my own opinion, others may really like these two tracks.

Klątwa Utopca has a very Metallica type feel to it, with a fast pace and harsh vocals. It’s definitely the pit-worthy track of this album, with a bit less emphasis on the folk metal. The final standard album track is Embers, which has a buildup of guitar picking and mid-tempo drum. It is the only track which has English lyrics, which for me isn’t an advantage or disadvantage, I love hearing lyrics in native languages, particularly when it comes to folk metal, because the music itself takes the lead for me. The track is a faster pace which has more emphasis on the “metal” side of folk metal, and ends with a crackling fire.

The two bonus tracks were a welcome addition to the album. The first, Biesiady Czas, was a purely folk instrument affair with clean vocals. I really enjoyed this particular track and it’s perfect for a good old jig with ale and mead. Stalowy Władca is a heavier, more metal track, with gets dancier, and much of the vocals are distorted. There’s a sci-fi theme coming through, and a lot of synth in the interludes between lyrics.

I would love to like this album more, but for me there’s a couple of tracks that let it down a little. Although the sounds is mostly good, I do feel like it can sound a bit muddy in places. However, this album might just be a grower, and I look forward to hearing what Windmill have to offer in the future!

WINDMILL – Taniec Ognia i Wolności

Verdict: 7/10

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