Wind Rose – “Warfront”

 Posted by on July 8, 2022 at 00:01  Add comments
Jul 082022

Just in time for the summer festival season in Europe, Wind Rose are back with all the bravado, metal bombast, and epic tales that we’ve come to expect over the last few years. “Dwarven metal” with its rousing choruses, epic feel, and folk metal touches is here to stay and Warfront is sure to further broaden their audience and satisfy their existing base.

Sometimes a band comes along that instantly grabs your attention and Wind Rose was one of those bands for me when I first received Stonehymn to review in 2017. Glancing at the album artwork and some of the song titles and seeing the band was from Italy, I was fully expecting something akin to European power metal, which is one of my favorite genres. I was genuinely surprised by their “Dwarven metal” with its epic choruses, singalong sections, simple, recognizable melodies, and sense of fun. While the band has been around for now since 2009, the Italian natives, have really come into their own with the release of Stonehymn in 2017 and the brilliant move of releasing a video for their cover of the Minecraft-inspired song “Diggy Diggy Hole”, which last I checked had over 30 million plays on YouTube…crazy large numbers for any act, let alone for some Italians signing metal songs of fantasy and looking like Vikings. To show that the success of “Diggy Diggy Hole” was no fluke, their second video off Wintersaga for “Drunken Dwarves is well over 5 million plays as of this review. The band itself has certainly worked its way up to this point, releasing eps and albums since 2010 and touring Europe with the likes of Wintersun, Epica, Ensiferum, and Eluveitie and has become a regular on the large festival scene.

As one might expect on a folk metal album with epic story overtones, the opening track is really an intro to set the overall tone and is a calm piece incorporating a number of traditional instruments with a bit of an almost tribal drum in the background. Add in some grand choral aspects and you have entered the world of Warfront. “Army of Stone” is the next track and begins from the very beginning with a guitar riff opening accented by some symphonic elements and eventually speeding up for the verse sections which showcase the deep, somewhat gravelly and very distinct voice of Francesco Cavelleri. Cavelleri’s strong voice is a perfect fit for the music and only seems to get stronger when the backing chorus voices come in. Much like Wintersaga, production and mixing are excellent but the guitars and drums become more of a vehicle for the vocals in contrast to Stonehymn where they were more prominent. Is this a bad thing? Not so much in my view. The song actually has a couple quieter, acoustic sections as well including the ending which is a good contrast.

“Tales of War” and many other songs on the album open up with a distinctly traditional folk feel to them before launching into the metal side of things. “Tales of War” has a great, riff and chorus verse sections that sound much like what one would imagine around the table in any Viking movie ever created. The epic gang vocals on Wind Rose albums create such atmosphere for the songs and the catchy writing hooks the listener. “Fellows of the Hammer” starts out with an even more cinematic feel for the opening but the song itself shows the band exploring more complex arrangements with the vocals and melodies and a different overall song structure varying from their standard ones from the band.

“Together We Rise” and “Gates of Ekrund” are the first two videos from the album and definitely should be watched as the visuals are really important in setting expectations for the album and the sound of Wind Rose. Once you watch those, you have a great idea of what Wind Rose is about.

“The Battle of the Five Armies” and “I am the Mountain” show the band becoming even more inventive and expanding their overall sound even further than the previous songs on the album. On “The Battle of the Five Armies”, guitarist Claudio Falconcini and drummer Federico Gatti, really get their best chance to shine from a technical standpoint as the song has some of the strongest metal influences. “I Am the Mountain” with its focus on the hero in the everyday man is perhaps one of the most relatable songs on the album and the band pulls out all the stops on the arrangement from the pounding drums of Gatti, to the multi-part vocals to symphonic and orchestral elements giving the song a fitting epic feel. As if the band was looking to calm the listener after the bombast of “I Am the Mountain”, the album closes out with the acoustic ballad “Tommorow Has Come” which showcases the overall strength of the vocals from Cavalieri and the backing gang chorus.

Wind Rose is one of those rare bands that seemed to have started with what some would think is a gimmick but their commitment to the music and evolving their sound have allowed them to move well past those criticisms while maintaining the sense of fun they started with. I’ve enjoyed all the Wind Rose albums and the journey their sound has taken since I first heard Stonehymn. Warfront brings a new level of complexity in the arrangements without losing the approachable, fun feel of the songs and the power in the vocals and melodies that resonate with the listener. Fans and those who have never heard the band owe it to themselves to check out Warfront.

Rating: 9/10

Written by John Jackson


  1. Of War and Sorrow
  2. Army of Stone
  3. Tales of War
  4. Fellows of the Hammer
  5. Together We Rise
  6. Gates of Ekrund
  7. One Last Day
  8. The Battle of the Five Armies
  9. I Am the Mountain
  10. Tomorrow has Come

Band Members
Francesco Cavalieri – Vocals
Claudio Falconcini – Guitars
Federico Meranda – Keyboards
Federico Gatti – Drums
Cristiano Bertocchi – Bass

Release Date: June 10th. 2022

Record Label: Napalm Records

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Bandcamp

Video for ‘Together We Rise’

Video for ‘Gates of Ekrund’

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