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Viking's Choice: Windhand, 'Orchard'


Windhand is one of those body-rattling bands whose decibels clobber the smoke-filled air. This is especially true in a live setting, in which masses of people are drawn to the riffs like moths. The Richmond stoner-metal band gets close to that desperately heavy live vibe on its second album, Soma, especially in "Orchard."

"Orchard" is deceptively slow by the mere weight of its gnarly Electric Wizard-y riff. But then Windhand moves from 4/4-time fuzz to a woozily swung 3/4 count that, again, feels slow, but barrels the track into the speakers like the guy up front who's had one too many. Lest we forget that Bill Ward made those early Black Sabbath records swing, it's a neat trick to hear something buried under Windhand's distortion, double guitar solos and Dorthia Cortrell's moaning wail.

Soma is out Sept. 17 on Relapse Records.

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