Windhand – Eternal Return

Since its current lineup formed in 2013, Windhand has consistently cranked out awesome doom/stoner metal albums helmed by spell-binding storyteller Dorthia Cottrell, guitar slinger Garrett Morris, bassist and Cough vocalist Parker Chandler, and the glue holding it all together – former Facedowninshit drummer Ryan Wolfe.

It’s easy to mostly focus on Cottrell’s vocal talents, especially after hearing the gorgeous acoustic “Sparrow” off prior album Grief’s Infernal Flower or backtracking to find her acoustic solo material. Yet when the band reaches its full stride on Eternal Return, out Oct. 5 on Relapse Records, the whole crew tells vivid stories that rise high above the spliff clouds that typically accompany Windhand listening sessions.

For example, she’s the calm amid the addictive haze on such slow burners as “Grey Garden,” “First to Die,” and “Eyeshine.” With songs like these, there’s something calming and almost spiritual about cranking up the volume and relaxing while the band jams for a good six or more minutes. Morris and the rhythm section allow you to get peacefully and willfully lost in song, with Cottrell there as a metaphysical tour guide. If that sounds like mumbo-jumbo, bump these songs while driving past same-looking interstate scenery the next time you’re heading out of town. They’re a way more comforting listen than your favorite podcast.

If slower material that allows the band’s singer to shine still sounds preferable, check out “Pilgrim’s Rest.” It’s more of a trip to the desert than a trip to your weed carrier.

Like any metal band worth a damn, they’re a different and rewarding beast on stage. Lucky for us, the tour supporting Eternal Return starts Oct. 8 at the EARL. It’ll be an evocative show in an intimate, great-sounding venue.

Eternal Return