Evoking Winds is a promising folk / atmospheric black metal band I discovered a month ago with their first official release, a long play album called; Towards Homestead, which was released on August 10, 2008. Now, please give the album a listen while reading the rest of the article.
Towards Homestead is a surprisingly impressive album where the two founders of the band Artyom Prishchepov and Ivan Sereda from Belarus wrote all the music by themselves when the project was nothing more than a hobby. Thanks to whatever inspired them to take it to professional standards and share it, now the world has a timeless atmospheric black metal record with a fantastic blend.
As some of our readers might remember that I have always been a fan of progressive metal with an unusual blend. In any kind of art, the blend is everything, as well as in music. I have listened to some classic black metal and folk metal albums before, but it has never been my thing. Before I go into more details, I’d like to share with you how the band defines their music;
“Atmospheric metal meets folklore fantasy in music by Evoking Winds. It’s a mixture of stormy blast beats with an epic ambiance and a healthy dose of Eastern Europe’s dark tales.”
First of all, the album has a mysterious atmosphere with a cinematic approach all along the way. It seems like none of these songs were meant to be “separate songs” from the beginning, giving the listener the feeling of a journey when it listened from the beginning to the end. I am not sure if the band considers it as a concept album, but for me, it is a promising one without a doubt. The folk music influences in this album are quite different than what I heard all this time, like it wasn’t written by metal musicians but professional medieval FRP game programmers. I am aware of two folk/ethnic styles in music, one of them is the Irish/Scottish, mostly with major/happy vibes and tons of positive energy, where the other one is more cinematic and old-school Scandinavian folklore. In this case, Evoking Winds experimented that folk influences can be very powerful when combined with dark vibes as well. And I am quite blown away with the potential.
The dark vibes of Towards Homestead has a difference from the Opeth darkness, of course, where this album has a direction with Medieval influences, which makes the album much more cinematic with approach and non-commercial compositions. While I was listening to the album on repeat, it immediately reminded me of some scenes from video games and movies.
On the other hand, the black metal influences in the album earned our utmost respect. It’s been a long time since I heard such successful balance and performance in this specific genre. The vocalist has done an incredible job, every single word, every phrasing connected to his vocals immediately becoming magical and pulls the listener into its brutal world. We all got used to hearing raw sounding or extreme black metal music being played with a focus on technicality or generic chord progressions for a very long time. Towards Homestead, in this case, is an exception. I don’t remember enjoying listening to black metal since I discovered Opeth, and to be honest, and I was quite hopeless until I came across Evoking Winds.