Wuthering Heights - Salt review
|Release date:||March 2010|
02. The Desperate Poet
03. The Mad Sailor
04. The Last Tribe (Mother Earth)
06. Weather The Storm
07. The Field
08. Water Of Life
09. Lost At Sea
10. Sympathy [Uriah Heep cover] [bonus]
"Abra-macabra, baby, here we go!"
The highly innovative Wuthering Heights offer us yet another astonishing piece of folk flavoured power/progressive metal in the album Salt. Never a band to resort to the downtrodden clichés of the oft criticized power metal style, they continue to push the boundaries into heavier and more whimsical territory. So how will this album fare?
Salt is an interesting turn of events in that the band somewhat forgo their prior thematic elements, which consistently showed off their creative flair for songwriting, instead to turn for something more akin to what you may find on a Running Wild album. Certainly this album comes off as less progressive and more straightforward power metal. The intricate attention to detail is still present, so to is the folk tinge that makes up part of the bands character, but the music seems to be less whimsical; it's rather more deliberate in its direction.
It seems that this was an attempt to partake of the growing fad of "Pirate Metal" that has graced us with bands such as the comical Alestorm. However, Salt is by no means a cheese-laden affair: Wuthering Heights offer us a rather different perspective on the theme, one much more serious and reflective. Indeed, no band has sailed the seven seas with more style since the glory days of Running Wild. Bringing their unique sound to such territory may be considered as compromising of said unique sound but it clearly serves to bolster the reputation of something which had recently been the subject of ridicule.
In terms of performance, the band is top notch as always, the performance of vocalist Patrik Johansson never ceases to amaze and guitarist Martin Arendal gives the music its heavy/power metal edge. Drummer Morten Gade Sørensen is consistent, though a little difficult to make out as the production is not as crisp as on previous albums.
There's not much here in way of filler, except perhaps "Weather The Storm," with obvious highlights being the subtly cheesy yet philosophically inclined "The Mad Sailor," and the ode to nature that is "The Last Tribe (Mother Earth)." The epic finale "Lost At Sea" is a truly ambitious effort, and the previous folky interlude "Water Of Life" is the closest thing you'll find to a sea-shanty on the album, a short guilty pleasure.
What Salt somewhat lacks is the same originality and excellence of song writing that made the band's previous efforts so enjoyable. That said, this album is anything but of poor quality, Wuthering Heights manage to always be consistent and Salt is no exception.
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