Wino: Forever Gone
CD, Vinyl and Digital album
Scott “Wino” Weinrich’s new solo opus, Forever Gone, melds together sparse and atmospheric acoustic arrangements, with Wino’s characteristic doom metal edginess. The album forms part of Ripple Music’s new “Blood and Strings” series, and is a triumph of songwriting and powerful metal delivery. Wino is the legendary front person of doom metal founders and pioneers Saint Vitus and The Obsessed.
The opener, the title track Forever Gone, sets up the albums musical bedrock, with beautifully melodic acoustic guitar, and eerie background reverb, as Wino’s voice soaked in emotion and storytelling wisdom, resonates of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, in it’s downbeat observing of real experience and real lives.
Taken has a gothic sensibility with its electric guitar harmonics, full of swamp like sustain, cutting across the delicate and doom laden acoustic guitar playing. Wino sings plaintively of the feeling of being “broken like the wounded birds wing”, in a song full of world weary sadness.
The Song Is At The Bottom Of The Bottle, which follows, is a complete masterpiece of songwriting and performance, and possibly the best thing Wino has ever put to record. The guitar playing and voice has echoes of Bob Dylan, while embracing the hypnotic pulse of doom metal. It is completely mesmerising and transcendent. The killer lyrical sequence in the song, entreats the listener, “Living your life full throttle. It seems like the only way to be. The song is in the bottom of the bottle. Small comfort from your misery”. This is a song that feels completely authentic, with a musical maturity that only an artist at the top of their game can produce. You can see Wino performing this great song live, as part of a recent acoustic set:
From these three opening songs, Wino holds the listener completely entranced, reminiscent for this writer of witnessing Saint Vitus at the 2014 Damnation Festival, where Wino and guitarist Dave Chandler, wove a magical and intoxicating aura around the stage.
So Fine has a more upbeat feel, with some cool acoustic guitar picking and electric slide, with metaphorical references to good food and wine, and a superb Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street era sound. It is very illustrative of the innovative range of moods and musical settings, this album delivers.
Was, Is, and Shall Be, a haunting and almost spiritual ballad, leads into the closing track, a full on driving reading of Joy Division’s Isolation. The heavy beat, and deep bass, seem tailor made for a completely fresh and original reading of this classic song. The imaginative and expressive guitar soloing, envelops Wino’s empathic growling singing, that somehow makes this into a metal classic.
This album with its exciting mix of bluesy folk and metal, is a perfect illustration of the expansive and creative nature of metal. A musical landscape that can encompass so many musical influences and traditions, and deliver something completely original, compelling, and boundary pushing.
You can find Wino on:
All words by Gareth Allen, you can find Gareth’s author profile here.