Silver Wind embrace the very essence of what helped to make Germany the go-to European Power Metal place in the late 80’s – unashamedly proud of the Teutonic legacy their brand of Power Metal proudly displays. They are of course French, just to throw a spanner it the works…it’s just they sound so German!
Which is fine, pretty much gone are the days you could generally recognize a French Metal band by the heavily accented singer, and besides, it’s that particularly German-sounding Heavy/Power Metal in the music that is so familiar. I hear everything from Running Wild and Rage, through Iron Savior and Paragon as well as elements of Mystic Prophecy, Powerwolf, Stormwitch and Sacred Steel. It’s not a German whitewash however as there is more than a sprinkling of Hammerfall in their sound and they also have plenty in common with fellow countrymen Lonewolf.
The production is a little flat at times with the bombastic vocals a little too forward from the guitars bass and drums for my personal taste, meaning the guitars sometimes appear a little thin and the drums don’t shake the room like they should – but this is actually a similar production to some of the 80’s Power Metal album’s so in a way it still works. The songs don’t suffer in any way either, the vocals suit the songs perfectly, delivered in the style you would hope for and each track puts it’s point across as intended with plenty of hooks and nice guitar lines.
No need to pull the album apart, picking out certain tracks to make a note of as the album as a whole has a unified feel to it that helps the whole thing flow and finds the listener half way through the album almost without realizing it. There’s a cover of the American Metal band Medieval Steel’s track…err…’Medieval Steel’, from the eponymous EP which used to be rather sought after (the original vinyl still is!) but thanks to Youtube anyone can compare Silver Wind’s version to the original – which I’m sure people will agree stays true yet personalizes it just enough to make it fit perfectly with the rest of this album. It’s a slightly unusual choice for cover yet sums up the band’s attitude to the genre – they have enough about them to please the die-hard, I-was-there-the-first-time metallers, but an equal amount of relevance to excite new fist-raising horn-throwers throughout Europe and beyond. Intentionally retro or not, Silver Wind have plenty to interest fans of any of the bands listed earlier – so if that’s you, do check ’em out!
(7/10 Andy Barker)