If Richmond is known for anything, it’s metal.
If Richmond is known for anything, it’s metal. From thrash to sludge to grindcore, we’ve got a number of bands we can proudly call ‘Sons and/or daughters of RVA.’ But one long time Richmond band has reached new heights with the release of their upcoming record, and we got a chance to sit down with them and hear some of the details ahead of its release.
Windhand, with Asechiah Bogdan on Guitar, Dorthia Cottrell on Vocals, Parker Chandler on Bass, Ryan Wolfe on Drums, and Garrett Morris on Guitar, has been filling fan’s ears with some of the grimiest sludge-metal the world has to offer since 2010. With two full length albums under their belt, and a mess of EPs and splits between then and now, their newest release, Grief’s Infernal Flower, has put them in the national spotlight as both trail blazers and masters of the classic sound.
Channeling mid-90’s tones like Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, and Nirvana, but keeping the droney grind from bands like Dopethrone and Crowbar, Grief’s Infernal Flower has been in heavy rotation in the RVAMag office since we got an early version of the album a few weeks back.
But we’re not the only ones – NPR is such a fan they are offering a full stream of the album ahead of its release this Friday, 9/18. And Rolling Stone featured the band as the lead in their summer 10 Bands You Need to Know.
Lead singer Cottrell (who released a solo album earlier this year to similar praise) brings her hauntingly eerie, yet entrancing vocals to the album and it fuses together genres with the help of producer Jack Endino, known for his work with SubPop in the early 90’s, producing bands (unsurprisingly) like Nirvana and Soundgarden.
“A lot of people have said [we] sound like Black Sabbath and Nirvana mated and had a child,” Drummer Ryan Wolfe said. “People say we sound like Alice in chains – I understand theres a 90’s feel to it.”
The band wasn’t sitting on their loins between now and 2013’s SOMA, they put out a live record and worked on new material leading up to the new release. They also took a break from playing here in RVA and went on tour opening for metal gods High on Fire. When they decided to return to the studio on this new record this summer, their aim was to get out of their normal recording routine.
“We wanted to get away… we recorded everything we’ve done in our private space, but we realized it’s time to do something different,” Wolfe said. “It was time for a change.”
And change they did – heading out to Seattle for two weeks to record at Endino’s Sound House Studios.
“We went to him because we wanted him to record us and do what he does best,” he said. “[But] he was so concerned he was going to ruin our sound.”
Wolfe said Endino’s fears were unwarranted, they sought outside help hoping to get that additional set of trained ears.
The finished product is 9 tracks of doom-metal gold.
The songs on the album lack a cohesive theme, with some of the tracks written long before the band united this year to record, but that doesn’t mean there’s no meaning behind the tones or lyrics.
“There’s something special to each song, but we try not to give out meanings,” Wolfe said. “We like to keep that to ourselves.”
Wolfe said some parts of the soon-to-be-released tracks had been around for some time, but they failed to come together until now for whatever reason. When they got back from a European tour, they sat down and hashed Greif’s… together into what you’ll hear this Friday.
Along with the album dropping, You can head over to Strange Matter for Windhand’s record release show Friday, 9/18. Pick up tickets early here.
And head over to Relapse Records website here to pick up the new album as well.