Wednesday, 17 June 2020

WINO - Forever Gone (Album Review)

Release date: June 26th 2020. Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Forever Gone – Tracklisting

1.Forever Gone
3.The Song's At The Bottom Of The Bottle 04:42
4.No Wrong
5.Dark Ravine
6.Dead Yesterday
7.So Fine
8.Crystal Madonna
9.Lavender and Sage
10.Was, Is, and Shall Be
11.Isolation 04:12


I was surprised when Ripple Music announced they had signed Doom Metal Legend WINO to their ranks and will be releasing his first solo album in a decade. This announcement shows you how far that Ripple Music have come since starting way back in 2010.

Forever Gone is the name of the album and this classic WINO through and through with the album dealing with personal issues such as loss and darkness set against a backdrop of acoustic songs that bring a Doom based atmosphere that feature the legendary sound that WINO is known for. There are 11 songs on the album and you will hear some of the best songs to date that WINO has written for his solo career.

The album starts with the excellent sounding title-track and it sees WINO in a heartfelt mood with a gloomy guitar only for company and the music has echoes of Americana and Psychedelic Rock. WINO is in master storyteller mode on this song and for the majority of the album. The lyrics have extra personal weight to them and you feel the struggles that WINO deals with on this song.

Second song – Taken – opens with a slight Americana/Country groove with a twinge of Psych Rock with the classical style of lyrics that is full of pain and emotion. The blues based guitars are superbly played but it’s WINO vocal delivery that makes song truly standout.

Third song – The Song’s At The Bottom Of The Bottle – is classic WINO through and through with the lyrics once again showing a dark world that WINO has no doubt lived and explaining his experiences touring across the globe. The music is beautifully played with the Blues/Doomed Out riffs making this one of the standout songs on the album.

Fourth song – No Wrong – carries on the emotionally driven style of music with great vocals from everyone concerned. WINO does show his anger and frustration on this song but offers a more reflective outlook as well. There is some epic psychedelic acoustic guitars held on this song and it’s a welcome addition to an already superb sounding and inventive album.

Forever Gone has seven more songs for WINO to impress you with. The album does take darker turns with other songs on the album but WINO still manages to find the time to offer a more hopeful experience as well. That’s always been one of WINO greatest strengths on whatever project he’s involved with over the past 44 years or so.

Other great songs to check out are: Dead Yesterday, You’re So Fine, Crystal Madonna and a cover of Joy Division classic – Isolation. I know that WINO has performed Isolation a number of times over the years with most memorably Conny Ochs. Though, it’s good to hear a proper studio version and WINO brings his own spin to an already classic song.

Forever Gone is an expertly produced album with something for everyone to enjoy and admire. The album also proves why WINO is considered The Godfather Of Doom Metal. He’s been going as a musician for almost 45 years now and that’s the stuff of legend in my book.

There’s a few solo albums being released this year from artists who are part of famous Doom/Sludge Metal bands with Kirk Windstein already releasing his solo album earlier this year. Thomas V Jäger of Monolord fame will be releasing his solo album very soon. 

However, Forever Gone is perhaps the best solo album I’ve heard this year and is an album of the year contender and even a future classic album in the making.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo. Forever Gone will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ripple Music from June 26th 2020.