Leon : It’s usually the albums of bands that can surprise you the most. When the bigger names release new music you usually have great expectations but with smaller bands you’re expectations are usually much lower, which makes it even better when you enjoy the music. Today it’s the unknown French band Weend'ô that has a nice surprise for us in stock. The band started out around ten years ago but the first album appeared only in 2012, under the name ‘You Need To Know Yourself’. A year later a live DVD was released where the band played rearranged versions of the songs, playing them fully acoustic. After that the band didn’t release anything for a while, but after six years the band is coming up with their sophomore album ‘Time Of Awakening’. As a review-writer you get your hands on a lot of albums that are ‘okay’ or ‘not great’, luckily the new album of Weend'ô will not fall into that category.
The album contains only three songs, starting with ‘Time Of Awakening’, which consists out of three parts, followed by ‘Angel Dust’, which also is featured as a radio edit, and lastly ‘Elea’, which is divided into two parts. Putting all of that together the album lasts for only forty-three, I think that’s a little short for a full-length record. Additionally, I would’ve preferred if the band would’ve combined the separate parts of the songs. Anyway, eventually it’s about the content and not the wrapping. The band plays progressive rock with an occasional hint of metal, but they do this all in their own way and don’t try to imitate anyone. That said, the music strongly reminds me of what Dutch bands Lesoir and Golden Caves are currently doing, this is definitely influenced by the sound of singer Laetitia’s voice, as it sounds similar to Romy Ouwerker’s (Golden Caves) and, albeit less, Maartje Meessen’s (Lesoir) voices. This is absolutely a compliment as I very much enjoy the two bands I mentioned. Also musically there are similarities, quiet passages with focus on melody are the core of the music with small moments where we can hear some metal parts. The compositions are strong but I do have to admit that the first song, ‘Time Of Awakening’ is by far the best and most interesting song on the album, the others are less special. The band’s music is at its best when guitarist Térence, drummer Nathanael, and bass guitarist Max, open up the throttle and play some creative cool riffs. Especially the contrast between that and the calmer parts is very strong. The piano parts of Laetitia are also impressive, especially the second part of ‘Time Of Awakening’ is beautiful. Also the production is very good, which is important too.
Unfortunately it’s not perfect, I do have some criticism. Without the texts in front of me I have absolutely no clue what Laetitia is singing about. The problem is that the pronunciation and articulation of the words is poor. Such a shame since because of this the music doesn’t stick in your head as good and, if wanted, you can’t sing along. It actually annoys me so much that I decided to reduce the final score with five points. ‘Time Of Awakening’ is definitely a record where Weend'ô show the world that they’re a force to be reckoned with, I sincerely hope that the band will gain a lot of new fans, they absolutely deserve this. This band is for everyone who likes progressive rock and is looking for something new.