Windhand, Ramming Speed, The Golden Grass


For a band who traffic in measured, unhurried riffage, Richmond's WINDHAND have moved awfully quickly over the last few years. Founded in 2009, the VA quintet have been making waves since the release of their 2010 practice space demo, a two-track CD that garnered the band comparisons to artists like Electric Wizard, The Devil's Blood, and Black Sabbath. That auspicious start was further realized in March 2012 when the band released their self-titled debut, which quickly became an underground hit and sold out of multiple vinyl presses in a matter of months.
A year later, the band officially signed to Relapse Records. After a steady touring schedule, the band collaborated with Richmond brethren Cough on a split entitled Reflection of the Negative, which was released on Relapse in April 2013. Pitchfork deemed the split WINDHAND's "best music to date," and the record's positive critical reception helped pave the way for WINDHAND to release the highly anticipated album Soma in September 2013. Stereogum, Spin, and the LA Weekly featured Soma prominently on their overall best-of lists. The album was heavily represented in countless metal publications including Revolver, Invisible Oranges, MetalSucks, and Metal Injection. Rolling Stone, NPR, and Pitchfork all took note of Soma as well; the former considered the album the third-best metal release of 2013.
Soma was no flash-in-the-pan internet phenomenon. In 2013 and 2014, the band embarked on a series of support and headlining tours across North America, Europe, and Australia, sharing the stage with the likes of Sleep, High on Fire, Dead Meadow and Kvelertak. In addition, Windhand appeared at major festivals including Roadburn, SXSW, Scion Rock Fest, Day of the Shred and Maryland Deathfest. Windhand also took the time in October 2014 to follow up Soma with a brief two-track Halloween split alongside Swedish doomsters Salem's Pot (released on Riding Easy Records). Noisey liked the record so much that they declared the band "must have definitely sold their souls for their new split."
WINDHAND returned in 2015 with their third full-length, Grief's Infernal Flower, a multifaceted slab of thundering stoner doom that Noisey has called "doom metal's most anticipated album of the year." Produced by Jack Endino (Nirvana, High On Fire, Soundgarden, etc), Grief's Infernal Flower is massive, heavy, and personal, a modern testament to the power of doom and stoner metal's legacies. One sees the urgency the band have displayed over their career reflected in their music - long-canonized tropes are reimagined and reinvented, Windhand convey an irrepressible sense of motion even within the slowest of songs. Front woman Dorthia Cottrell firmly establishes herself as one of the best vocalists of the genre by perfectly balancing beauty with enormous power, and the twin-guitar attack of Garrett Morris and Asechiah Bogdan weaves together nine songs of perfect riffs and fuzzed-out bliss. That often-delicate splendor is all tempered by the colossal rhythmic mastery of bassist Parker Chandler and drummer Ryan Wolfe, whose lower-register expertise serves as the backbone of the new record. Though the first two WINDHAND albums were underground classics, Grief's Infernal Flower stands to see WINDHAND cementing themselves as one of the premier metal bands of our time.

Ramming Speed

"Brainwreck", the debut CD from Boston's Ramming Speed, spends little time allowing the listener to come up for air. Smothered in aggression, this molten slab of metal draws from not only from American thrash bands of the past, but also tastefully pulls from the heaviness of crust punk and the blinding rage of grind. Pepper the mix with beer soaked rock n roll licks and you have the shape of underground metal to come.

Playing their first show in January of '07, Ramming Speed have since loaded into just over 250 basements, living rooms and piss stained bars around the US. While the band's first release, the "Full Speed Ahead" 7", touched on issues such as pizza parties and fake tan smell-good girls, the band returned home from heavy touring with a different mind set. Ramming Speed experienced in six weeks what many bands never come across in a life time. There was the inevitable van break down in the middle of the desert on one day, the band being filmed for LA reality tv show "Beach Patrol" the next, and two evenings later the whole gang was arrested at gun point out side San Francisco for suspected kidnapping (charges were later dropped). These experiences merely scratch the surface of a tour that also included riot cops and a Hells Angels 4th of July party. The quintet eventually arrived back in Boston road hardened and ready to write a pissed off, fast fucking record.

This time around the music and lyrics are far more aggressive and poignant. Topics covered include American xenophobia, terrorist paranoia, and the metal scene's aversion to politics. Musically, the metal begins to grind just as hard as it thrashes, taking nods from genre defining bands like Napalm Death and Terrorizer. Read close and you'll still find party thrash anthems about a zombie killing lawyer and Thor's hammer, but this is by no means a flash in the pan revival band. This is the mixture of two decades worth of metal, punk, and hardcore mangled into thirteen short, fast, and loud songs.


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