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The Howling Wind - Of Babalon Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


The Howling Wind - Of Babalon

The Howling Wind - Of Babalon

Profound Lore Records
Ryan Lipynsky is a busy man. Besides serving time in such heavyweights as Unearthly Trance, Lipynsky is also heavily involved in black metal, namely through his well regarded project Thralldom and, now, The Howling Wind. Joining Lipynsky is Tim Call, from notables such as Aldebaran and Weregoat. We’re talking serious pedigree here, folks, both in black metal and funeral doom.

Lipynsky seems to be focusing his current creative efforts upon The Howling Wind, a progressive, yet dissonant, black metal outfit releasing their third full-length album, Of Babalon, on the ever reliable Profound Lore Records. Like most black metal outfits on the label, The Howling Wind have an air of Orthodoxy about them and an obviously serious attitude to go along with the musical chops to back up what seems to be an ambitious agenda.

Musically, The Howling Wind have a progressive air, one that is much less raw and murky than Thralldom. However, a strange, swirling sense of dissonance to the guitars seeps in with great regularity, instantly moving Of Babalon away from softer material covered by bands such as Bosse-de-Nage and Krallice. Those that prefer their progressive black metal to retain strong ties to the genre’s traditional roots will find much to like in The Howling Wind.

Backing up the ambitious musical direction is some great songwriting with variety and excellent musicianship. The songwriting is a seamless blend of progressive melody, swirling chaos, and moments of brutality with carefully applied all out blasts. A slightly murky quality to the production with a nice even mix to the vocals and instruments heightens the obviously professional attitude.

The Howling Wind have crafted an album in Of Babalon that will appeal to a wide range of listeners within black metal. Those that appreciate the more progressive side of the genre will find much to like, as will those that adhere to the genre’s roots. Undoubtedly, Of Babalon will enhance the growing reputation of The Howling Wind.

(released July 17, 2012 on Profound Lore Records)

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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