Album Reviews

Wuthering Heights – Salt

Release by Sensory Records on May 12, 2010

Review Added April 28, 2010

Genre: Folk/Metal

1. Away!
2. The Desperate Poet
3. The Mad Sailor**
4. The Last Tribe (Mother Earth)**
5. Tears**
6. Weather The Storm
7. The Field
8. Water Of Life
9. Lost At Sea
Hot Tracks**

* Erik Ravn – guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals
* Morten Gade Sørensen – drums, percussion
* Nils Patrik Johansson – vocals
* Teddy Möller – bass, drums, guitar, vocals
* Andreas Lindhal – keyboards
* Martin Arendal – guitar

For those unfamiliar with Wuthering Heights, they are a Danish Folk Power Metal band lead by the charismatic Nils Patrik Johansson also leading front man for Astral Doors. This super group per say has been around since 1989 but did not release a studio album till 2002’s “To Travel For Evermore” later followed by the critically acclaimed “Far From The Madding Crowd“. The bands sound is very eclectic for sure, they borrow plenty of influences from the folk genre but also power metal and some progressive hints as well. If I had to compare here they sound like a mix between Elvenking and Falconer. Some of the members of the band are of Pyramaze, Manticora fame so the music is played very skillfully. Of course the vocals of Johansson with his Dio-esque staple voice compliments the overall sounds all too well.

The bands return with their 4th studio album titled “Salt” and once more the folklore power sound dominates the vibe of the record. “The Desperate Poet” wastes no time as it quickly recaptures the bands staple folk/power metal sound once more and has singer Johansson wailing back and forth retelling tales of classic literature. This has always been a pattern in the bands style, the lyrics in previous works have been inspired by Tolkien’s writing amongst others. The Celtic influences come out full barred in the very heavy bottom track “Tears” which leads way to a smooth and calm acoustic transition halfway through this epic tune. Traditional folk songs come to mind in “Water Of Life” with its uses of bagpipes and flutes dominating the core.

The bands musically distinctive sound takes full fight here on “Salt” as I remembered correctly even on their acclaimed record “Far From The Madding Crowd” while being hailed as groundbreaking, the band kept on using the same over line melody throughout the album sucking some energy out of the overall sound and making it a little too redundant, but here they are able to mix in more diverse sounds to keep the music alive and flowing sharply. Again some high powered vocal job by Patrick Nils makes the sound attractive, and even though they dwell far into the Folk genre it doesn’t become too excessive as the balance between all the styles meshes in profoundly. Surely a solid record overall, perhaps not better then “Madding” but in terms of their musical evolution it certainly shows some progression this time around. Power Metal fans should check it out, if not for that but for the great voice of Johansson.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys  7/10

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