Winds is a Norwegian neo-classical/progressive metal band that came into existence in 1998 when four Norwegian musicians from different backgrounds happened to cross musical paths. The music is largely influenced by classical music, with Andy Winter’s piano work and Carl August Tidemann’s guitar solos, often the central focuses. Lyrics being written by Andy. This was a result of previous work some of them had done with each other and through mutual acquaintances who lead them together. These individuals were already renowned within their specialties: Lars E. Si as a vocalist, Carl August Tidemann as a neo-classical guitar virtuoso, prolific black metal drummer Jan Axel von Blomberg and Andy Winter as a classically inspired pianist.
AS the first recording Of Entity and Mind was completed in 2000, Avantgarde Music made an offer to sign Winds for two records. This deal was inked without even presenting the music to any other labels. Of Entity and Mind was well received for its combination of classical, progressive and metal music.
As Of Entity and Mind continued receiving positive feedback, the band had not been idle and was already far into the process of composing the follow-up, to be entitled Reflections of the I. After this record was completed, The End Records, who inquired about licensing the album for release in America, contacted the band. Avantgarde Music was consulted and accepted the offer. Reflections of the I was released in 2002 and hosted great reviews and critical acclaim, receiving top scores in virtually every significant publication related to their style of music.
The band had almost completed ideas for all the tracks to a third album even before the previous was released. Having fulfilled their contract with Avantgarde Music, Winds was now free to accept offers from other labels. Once again, The End Records was quick to put an offer on the table, this time to take on the band worldwide. The band accepted the offer without hesitation, and although other labels had showed interest, the band signed to The End Records for three more albums.
So the time came to start recording the third album. The drums were recorded first, along with some basic guitar and piano ideas that were to be re-recorded later. Recording of the album was put on hold due to obligations to other bands on projects, once all members were free, recording was resumed.
After six months of being in and out of the studios (Toproom and Fagerborg in Norway, and The Factory in Vancouver for mixing) the album was finally completed. The third Winds effort is entitled The Imaginary Direction of Time. Following in the vein of the previous albums with philosophically charged lyrics, the band’s website describes it as “the most accomplished record they have ever worked on, featuring the best individual performances they have ever done but also their best collective effort through carefully designed arrangements and a world class production that can compete with any other top release in the world today.”