The five stages of grief, as proposed by the Kübler-Ross model, converted into five dark and emotive compositions by a promising Melodic Post-Metal project from Macedonia.
Formed in 2006 in the city of Kumanovo, Macedonia as a studio project by multi-instrumentalist Boban Despotovski (guitarist for Macedonian Heavy/Power Metal band Timesand) together with bassist Miroslav Denkovski (Holocaust, Timesand) and Canadian singer Marc Durkee (Lead Mule, Rain Over St. Ambrose, The Chronicles of Israfel), Melodic Post-Metal band These Winds Are Not Hope is an excellent alternative for fans of mid-tempo heavy music with Melodic Doom and Gothic Metal elements. Forget about those high-pitched screams and drums at the speed of light from other types of heavy music, as the atmospheric music by These Winds Are Not Hope is meant to touch your heart and make you feel more aware of your deepest emotions.
As their first endeavor to invite all headbangers in the world to get in touch with their soulful music, These Winds Are Not Hope have recently released their debut MCD entitled Yesterday’s Ghosts, a five-track concept album about the Kübler-Ross model, or the five stages of grief (a series of emotions experienced by survivors of an intimate’s death). Featuring a cinereous artwork by VeronikaT Photography (Czech Republic) and having each one of its songs representing one of the five stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance), Yesterday’s Ghosts presents a smooth pace and a strong and enfolding ambiance in its entirety, helping the listener to cope with the indescribable pain caused by the loss of a loved one.
In the first track of the MCD, titled Desolate Chambers, slow and steady beats commonly found in Funeral Doom are nicely complemented by the melancholic vocals by Marc, while at the same time Boban delivers traditional Doom Metal lines through his guitar, building up the perfect doomed atmosphere for the concept proposed by the band. And hopelessness keeps permeating the air in Yesterday’s Ghosts, a very melodic blend of old school Doom Metal and more modern Gothic Metal, where the mourning guitar riffs by Boban and the low-tuned bass by Miroslav blacken the musicality even more, with its last part getting heavier and more complex.
Although the pensive and sluggish tune The Endless Disconnect showcases lighter-than-usual vocals by Marc, they end up being extremely heavy in regards to words and emotions, enhanced by the yet again melodious guitar lines by Boban; whereas pure melancholy sets the tone in Beyond Repair, the slowest and most sorrowful of all five tracks. Not only Marc has another amazing performance on vocals, but drums sound truly organic despite being programmed, harmonizing the musicality in an effective way. And Boban and Miroslav unite their strings to ignite the fifth stage of grief, which comes in the form of The Death of Hope, a feast of doomed and Gothic soundings with some folk elements added to it to keep the music fresh and vibrant until its beautiful but dark ending.
If you want to know more about These Winds Are Not Hope and how they managed to represent the five stages of grief through their Melodic Post-Metal music, you can go check their Facebook page and YouTube channel, and you can show your support to this interesting project by purchasing Yesterday’s Ghosts (available for a full listen HERE) at the band’s BandCamp page, on iTunes or on Amazon. And on one final side note, every physical copy of Yesterday’s Ghosts includes a razor blade, a symbolic representation of the music by These Winds Are Not Hope and a unique add-on I don’t recall seeing in any combo or special edition released by any renowned band from any type of heavy music lately. Put differently, a peculiar gift from the band to remind you how sharp and cutting the loss of a loved one can be.
Best moments of the album: Yesterday’s Ghosts.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2016 Kran Records/Sepulchral Silence Records
1. Desolate Chambers 5:56
2. Yesterday’s Ghosts 5:45
3. The Endless Disconnect 4:37
4. Beyond Repair 4:51
5. The Death of Hope 4:37
Marc Durkee – vocals
Boban Despotovski – guitars, keyboards, drum programming
Miroslav Denkovski – bass