WINDFAERER is M. Gonçalves – Vocals, Guitars | Benjamin Karas – Acoustic & Electric Violins, Vocals | Itay Keren – Vocals, Guitars | Michael Muñoz – Bass | James Applegate – Drums


Since its inception, New Jersey’s WINDFAERER has been forging extreme, emotional, atmospheric soundscapes brimming with melody, aggression and triumph. It exists as an homage to ancestral travels and an essence of beyond the mortal grasp.

In 2009, WINDFAERER unleashed Glorybound and introduced the world to their brand of violin-infused folkloric metal. A year later, the lively full-length album Tribus further elaborated the sound established in the debut demo—exploring ancient Iberian history and themes with songs such as “Oestriminis” and “Viriato”. With a full-length album to support, WINDFAERER transformed into a live act and began performing throughout the northeastern USA.

In 2012, the band’s paean to the sun, Solar made waves in the underground. “Solar continues the evolution of the band towards a forceful black metal outfit,” writes Metal-Underground. A few years later in 2015, Tenebrosum ventured into the bleak darkness of the vast ocean and explored melancholic atmospheres. DC Heavy Metal wrote, “Heroic epics are about remembering; Tenebrosum is about oblivion, being forgotten and disappearing.” Songs like “Celestial Supremacy” and “Morir en el olvido” became staples of the band’s live set.

In 2018 WINDFAERER partnered with Italy’s Avantgarde Music and USA’s cult tape label Folkvangr to release Alma. Dead Rhetoric writes, “Through it all, the combination of [Benjamin] Karas’s racing, heart-pounding electric violin work and the regular swell of pristine black metal make Alma a true show across the American extreme metal terrain. Rare is the merging of folk elements and black metal done with such a degree of pure atmosphere, devotion and sophistication.” In support of Alma the band embarked on a tour encompassing the northeastern and midwestern USA, as well as select cities in Quebec, Canada. Invisible Oranges reported:

atmospheric cascades of black metal riffs are set to Maidenesque gallops while the classical strings added piercing solos and depth. Their intricate musicianship made the band’s prog-metal bonafides evident, but not so much to feel out of place in the corner of a room upstairs from a South Philly bar. The way it all flowed felt like a long journey at sea


WINDFAERER‘s Breaths of Elder Dawns (2021) is the black/folk metal quintet’s latest and most elaborate output in its more than a decade of existence. As the band from New Jersey puts it, “Breaths of Elder Dawns explores themes of hope, kinship, destruction of the natural world, shattered illusions and longing for the numbing comfort of death. It is a journey of mourning through the ruins of abandoned dreams and aspirations. This record is an homage to a romanticized past as much as it is a rejection of its glorification.

As with previous WINDFAERER releases this record was a collaborative effort. Each member brought their own influences, perspectives and compositions and forged them into the spirit of the band. Extensive attention to detail was paid to all of the sonic elements—from the mic placements to the string orchestrations—in an effort to create a towering and expansive sound. Sorrow-laden melodies spiral through rugged, mountainous song structures in a synthesis of vulnerability and power. Breaths of Elder Dawns is a journey through aesthetic desolation and saudade. Here, the light of the sun exposes the anguished disfigurement of the soul.

“I’ve thought a lot recently about what it means for a record to be “perfect.” I think Breaths of Elder Dawns might fit the criteria, in that it feels like every single measure lands with the artist’s intended impact. Beyond its sheer beauty and scope, the denseness of its instrumental layering ensures endlessly rewarding listens. Whether I’m passively listening to it as a fun black metal record or am actively picking apart the ways in which its performances and movements interlock, Breaths of Elder Dawns has been nothing short of immensely compelling. WINDFAERER has made progressive leaps and bounds in quality between all of their releases, and in retrospect, it’s clear that this is the pinnacle they were vaulting towards all along. Time will tell, but at this point, I can’t imagine a higher peak for them to aim for.”