Purveyors of doom reminiscent of greats like Electric Wizard and Sleep, Richmond, Virginia's Windhand deliver a nuanced and ethereal take on the style. Blending shuddering low-end fuzz and pounding rhythms with airy vocals, the band recalls the sound of classic doom while adding a new dimension to one of metal's heaviest subgenres. Emerging in 2010, the group became an underground sensation before signing to Relapse and releasing the acclaimed Soma LP, which featured prominently on a score of notable zine and website year-end lists. Subsequent outings like 2015's stoner-doom-laden Grief's Infernal Flower and 2018's psych-blasted Eternal Return helped cement Windhand's reputation as one of the elite heavy music acts of the 2010s.
Founded in 2009 around the talents of Dorthia Cottrell, Garrett Morris, Asechiah Bogdan, Nathan Hilbish, and Jeff Loucks, the quintet issued their two-track practice-space demo in 2010. Loucks left the fold shortly thereafter, making room for new drummer Ryan Wolfe, who made his studio debut two years later on the band's eponymous first full-length outing, which was released by Forcefield Records. The album became an underground hit and caught the attention of Relapse, who quickly scooped up the group. Bassist Hilbish was the next to depart, and was replaced by Parker Chandler in 2013. That same year saw the band issue its Relapse debut, a split recording with fellow Virginia doom sludgers Cough called Reflection of the Negative. It was followed in September by Soma, the band's sophomore full-length, which became their best reviewed and fastest-selling LP to date.
Through the rest of that year and most of 2014, Windhand toured relentlessly, playing both support and headlining tours across North America, Europe, and Australia. On Halloween, they issued a split single alongside Swedish doom metal band Salem's Pot on Riding Easy Records. In March of 2015, Cottrell issued her eponymous, mostly acoustic, doomy Americana self-titled solo album. Then Windhand entered Seattle's Soundhouse Studio with producer/engineer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, High on Fire) that spring to record their third full-length. Grief's Infernal Flower was released by Relapse in September. A split EP with Virginia-based doom-punk unit Satan's Satyrs was released in 2018, followed later that year by the group's fifth studio long-player, Eternal Return, which was once again produced by Jack Endino. ~ James Christopher Monger