So, Kirk Windstein, he of Crowbar fame, owner of one of the most distinctive and recognisable voices in metal, and all-round legend, has a solo album? Well, this qualifies for an must-listen or ten.
An instantly-recognisable riff opens the album, and it’s a strong start. It soon becomes apparent, however, that it’s because Dream in Motion is a strong album, very strong in fact. Each song has been crafted by the hands of a man that has learned his trade the hard way over many years, and at this point producing music seems to come easily and naturally to him as breathing. Of course, that’s only my impression when listening to the end result; the reality could be different, and I imagine a lot of work and passion still goes into this art. The results speak for themselves, especially as this album is filled with music that is not your standard Kirk Windstein offering.
Crowbar is the obvious sonic reference point, but Dream in Motion is more than just another Crowbar album under a different name, and is quite different in many respects. With a wider range, the music encompasses sludge and doom metal, as well as the rockier end of the same spectrum. Black Sabbath are mentioned in the promo blurb, and you can hear the influence here and there, but Dream in Motion belongs to a wider world. There’s a progressive rock vibe to parts of the music as well, which further allows the songs to wander where they choose, free of genre restrictions. Born from the 70s, this is the artist’s interpretation of the influences he grew up with, (the final song is a Jethro Tull cover), distilled into musical form for our listening pleasure.
The music carries emotional weight and range, exploring lesser-travelled avenues, (for the artist), of the rock and metal styles, and allowing Kirk the freedom to do so without being bound by Crowbar’s considerable legacy. The overall feel of the music is softer, more mellow, and more focused on emotional appeal and feeling than what we usually get from this artist, (bearing in mind that Crowbar are not without a keen emotive aspect, of course). The album is a multifaceted, textured, layered listen that fully surpasses my expectations.
Creative, heartfelt and crucial, Dream in Motion is the sound of a well-respected artist with nothing to prove, producing music he loves with passion and skill. Essential listening for any metal or rock fan partial to this sort of thing.