Scott Carlson, Hollywood 01/27/2014
Windhand's Soma, their second full length and Relapse debut, captures a lightning-in-a-bottle quality of being massively heavy while at the same time very catchy and has made definite inroads into visibility and acceptability amongst fans well beyond the doom metal worshipping community. Soma amazingly pulls from disparate directions, featuring crushing riffs and feedback, melodic and somewhat ethereal vocals, and straddles the line between being almost oppressively heavy and repetitive and poppy and easy to listen to, and just when the listener might think they know what they've got in store over the course of the album, and quiet, simple song featuring only acoustic guitar and vocals appears a few tracks in, giving a brief break from the loud proceedings, and mixes things up nicely. The press release for this album mentions that Soma's sound is as much Nirvana as it is Black Sabbath, and after a few listens, this fact becomes quite clear. Compare Nirvana's track "Something in the Way" to any track on Soma and a definite through-line can be heard. 2013 was undoubtedly a great year for Metal of all types, and Windhand most likely sits at the top of the best of the year list.