EP Review: Hiraeth by The Wind Covenant (Seek ​and Strike Records)

The Italian based metal/deathcore band, The Wind Covenant return with their new EP, Hiraeth, set for release on the 8th of March via Seek and Strike Records.

Hiraeth is the follow up to The Wind Covenant’s debut release, 2022’s Conjuration. The Italian based 5 piece have taken the 2 year gap to really hone in on their sound and expand on their song writing prowess. The path is clear as the band look to create their unique identity and expand with more personal and emotional songs and a freedom of expression that allows them to explore other genres and sub genres while remaining loyal to their core foundations.

The Wind Covenant explain:

“One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a band, for us, is engaging in creative and inspiring writing sessions together. When we began the writing process for Hiraeth, our primary goal was to craft a collection of songs that felt uniquely exciting to us. With this EP, our focus was on creating a solemn, melancholic, and heart-wrenching vibe. We aimed to blend elements from various genres reflecting our musical backgrounds, including melodic hardcore, black-gaze and classical music, while expanding on our metal-core and death-core roots. The new songs place less emphasis on riffs – although they remain a significant part of our sound – instead, they serve more as a frame than a centrepiece. Throughout the writing and production process, we deliberately prioritised the emotion behind the songs as our guiding compass. This intentional shift resulted in a more personal and unique outcome.

The Wind Covenant Hiraeth band artwork

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Hiraeth comes with 5 new tracks and around 17 and a half minutes of music to explore starting with the song Beyond The Mortal Sight. I am instantly struck by how much is going on. These guys aren’t holding back as we get hit with a wave of electronica, big drums and riffs. It has an almost orchestral vibe in the background before ripping into life with intense drums, metallic riffs and vicious vocals. There is a lot happening with the vocals as well, vicious, packing raw power but with different tones, different levels of intensity and a constantly changing pace of delivery. Harsh and heavy, technical yet catchy before it hits the chorus and brings that more metalcore vibe with a clean sung chorus and a kinder melody.

I love the sped up vocal section in the second verse and the deeper grindcore like guttarals that come just before the super clean and sharp chorus drops again. There is also an effect heavy breakdown that leads the track out and leaves me thinking that I am happily going to have to listen to that again. I don’t think it is possible to get every aspect of such an interestingly busy track on a first listen. Creativity and variety keeps coming with The Wonders We Leave Behind. The verses carry that same pattern of crunchy beats and riffs with a nice mix of different, aggressive vocals. They also repeat the same pattern with the chorus dropping into cleans. The cleans here are a lot more subdued and I don’t really think they work for the track.

Overall though, there is a nice ethereal melody behind everything with some nice harmonising vocals and plenty of crunchy and catchy rhythm work to still find plenty of enjoyment. Doomed brings it again, no longer surpirsing me as despite there being a lot, despite it being madly creative and occasionally just plain mad, each song is doing that so even the most random of stuff has fallen into a pattern.

There is still a lot of fresh ideas to go with all of that though and the way The Wind Covenant bring the chorus in, blending it in while the verse is still ongoing, is a really neat idea. I like the chorus here, it has power and impact but it’s the crunchy metallic riffs and rhythms and the intense vocals where I find myself at my most comfortable and happy. Luckily there is plenty of that and plenty more to come, starting with The Straight And Narrow.

A track that plays off of the clean and harsh vocals well with a lot more cleans overall but plenty of back and forth trading between the two prominent styles. It’s a much more chilled track, due to the additional cleans in the verse but still finds plenty of time to hit us with a colection of erratic effects and keys almost at odds with the punch of drums, bass and guitars.

Hiraeth comes to a close with Devotion and there are very few surprises here on the song. It is what has come before but that isn’t a negative. It’s just a well worked and well written song that is interesting to listen to and sees the band continue to lean on their considerable talent. The mix of vocals, gentle melodies and harmonsing in the chrous is really great and the heavier stuff, the vocals in particular but also the impressive drums and riffs – it all stands out and definitely gives The Wind Covenant a unique edge. Even more so when the waves of electronica hit and start tearing up what otherwise would have been quite simple songs. It’s clever use of a tool that won’t be for everyone, but will be for many.

It closes out an EP I have really enjoyed listening to though I must admit that as blown away as I was by the opening track, by the time Hiraeth closed, some of the technical elements, some of the electronica was starting to lose it’s appeal for me personally. Overall though it is a very strong release from a band that clearly have a lot of talent, not just with vocals and instruments, but also in song writing and structure. It’s never boring and even if you hate metalcore, or hate deathcore, you won’t be switching off checking this out.

The Wind Covenant are clearly a band that could make serious waves. They have the talent, are building their catalogue and have a sound and style that has cross over appeal between the many genres of hard, heavy and alternative music. Expect to hear a lot more from and about these guys in the coming years.

You can stream/presave yourself a copy of Hiraeth at this link.

The Wind Covenant Links

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Author

  • Brendan Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Heavy Metal and reading, two things I have always loved so they are the two areas you will find most of my reviews. Post apocalyptic is my jam and I always have a book on the go and have for decades now. From a metal perspective, age has softened my inadequacies and I now operate with an open mind, loving many bands from many sub genres but having a particular admiration for the UK underground scene. In my other time, when not focused on Dad duties and work, I try to support the craft beer movement by drinking as much of it as I can and you will also find me out on the streets, walking. I love walking, I love exploring new places and snapping nature photos as I go.

Hiraeth by The Wind Covenant (Seek ​and Strike Records)
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