Genre/Influences: Industrial, Neo-Classic, Ambient.
Format: Digital, Vinyl + CD.
Background/Info: Westwind has been active since 1999. Driven by Kris G. the French project however disappeared a bit during the past years, “Despair” being the first new full length since “Survivalism” (2014). The new work is available as vinyl featuring a CD with two bonus cuts.
Content: I can’t say that Westwind has reinvented itself, but there are some interesting evolutions in sound. I experienced some of the songs as being more ‘electro’-driven than in the past. The fans will however recognize the familiar sound ingredients mixing extremely dark and nihilistic atmospheres, Martial passages like rhythms and heavy epic arrangements. Westwind sometimes sounds like a requiem for a word in despair. One of the most noticeable tracks is the cover version of Dead In June’s “Despair”… which also is the title of this album while each song is simply called “Despair”… Notice by the way the last bonus song features vocals by guest artist Joe Coleman.
+ + + : Westwind realized an astonishing come back; unleashing an extremely dark and desperate sound. The songs are filled with drama, which is a feeling accentuated by the bombast and numerous epic arrangements. Most of the leads/melodies are reminiscent organ sounds, which totally matches with this obscure sphere hanging over the work. The third song is a brilliant illustration of this approach. There’s a judicious match between all influences while the Dead In June cover has been perfectly transposed into the drama of the opus.
– – – : Some songs are a little bit similar, like abusing of the sound formula… but in the end I’m not complaining.
Conclusion: “Despair” probably was the only right title to define the global atmosphere of this work.
Best songs: “Despair 3”, “Despair 5”, “Despair 1”.