SALT - Reviews

AZM - ABSOLUTE ZERO MEDIA - Webzine - USA - no rating
Prog and Power metal are very home at sensory records and Wuthering Heights does this as well as any on this label. The difference between this band and many on Sensory is this is more a classic Power metal force like Rhapody, Angra or Symphony X. The vocals are majestic and sung in a very clean operatic manner. The guitars are all about wowing you with the riffing skills and the anthems that this band presents are very much what your looking for from a band like this. They grew up listening to bands like Savatage, Blind Guardian and area rock like Asia and Rush as you can hear the pop elements in the over tones of what they record. Wuthering Heights is the kind of band that without a guitar , bass and drum solo in the show you would feel cheated. Sensory you have another winner here.

Cody - ALL METAL RESOURCE - Webzine - USA - rating: Amazing!
Naming your band after a book that is so succinctly boring is truly a ballsy move. In fact, because of the band’s name, I never really got around to listening to them for years because of the very fact I fucking hate the book they are named after. However, when a promo for Wuthering Heights’ new album Salt arrived in my mailbox, it was kind of stupid to not at least give these guys a chance. Now, I can say with full confidence, that all high school students should be assigned Salt for their listening pleasure instead of having to read the dreg that is Wuthering Heights’ namesake. Leading the charge on Salt is vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson whom I immediately recognized as the leadman from Dio inspired power metal outfit Astral Doors. Upon hearing Nils’ Dio tributed voice, I knew I was in for a fantastic ride. Besides Nils amazing, colorful voice, is the fucking out of this world work of the rest of the band who combine folk power and progressive metal elements into a fucking amazing, tightly controlled sound that would wow me even if it was recorded on a tape recorder. These guys play so well, it makes the sloppy over-technicality of Dragonforce a farce to “TRUE” power metallists, and make no mistake people, Wuthering Heights would aurally beat up just about any power metal band today, they are THAT fucking good. Salt being my first foray into the world of this band, makes me feel bad that I didn’t pay attention to them sooner. Over the last couple of years I have discovered a few bands like this (Between the Buried and Me and Protest the Hero are just a couple to mention), and it genuinely upsets me that I subconsciously cast such a pre-judgement on a such a talent that I very well could have gone the rest of my life without listening to, and I wouldn’t have batted an eye otherwise. Salt makes me proud to be not only a metalhead, but also a critic, because it’s albums like this that get the mind going and my creativity flowing. If you are sick of half hearted progressive rip offs, or power metal bands who feel the need to dabble in death metal in order to get attention, then please check out Salt because you will undoubtedly be impressed into buying it. AMAZING

Tobias Jensen - ANTENNA - Webzine - Denmark - 4 out of 6 points
Det er efterhånden lidt tid siden, danske Wuthering Heights sidst gav studielyd fra sig; faktisk skal vi helt tilbage til 2006, hvor bandets fjerde udspil The Shadow Cabinet så dagens lys. Nu er man imidlertid klar med opfølgeren Salt, og her er tale om nok en episk tilføjelse til bandets diskografi. Således holder otte af de ni skæringer en gennemsnits-spilletid på omkring seks minutter, og closeren ”Lost at Sea” er i sig selv et monstrum på knap 17 minutter. Musikken på Salt er overvejende en fortsættelse af stilen fra The Shadow Cabinet, om end med et lyrisk tema, der denne gang kredser om livet på de syv verdenshave. Vi bliver budt på alt, hvad hjertet kan begære af tempo-, tonearts- og stemningsskift, herunder en afbalanceret vekslen mellem heavy/speed metal af den gamle skole og folk-inspirerede indslag, og i denne beskrivelse ligger både styrkerne og svaghederne ved udspillet. Sagt med et enkelt ord, er det, Wuthering Heights præsterer, slet og ret ganske overbevisende. De musikalske ideer og det tydeligt rutinerede sammenspil munder konsekvent ud i homogene og meningsfulde sangstrukturer, og dette varemærke bakkes yderligere op af en organisk produktion, der gør sit til at skabe samling på den brede instrumentselektion, der tæller mandoliner, fløjter, og hvad man ellers forbinder med folkemusikalske indslag. Det giver kun til dels mening at fremhæve solistiske præstationer på skiven, for det er for mig at høre i mindre grad individualiteten, der er i centrum på Salt, end det er det samlede musikalske resultat. Det sagt udgør Nils Patrick Johansson til stadighed en stærk frontfigur for bandet, og det er klædeligt og med rette, han sine steder får lov at stjæle billedet, eksempelvis på syvende skæring ”The Field”, hvor man til overmål finder vokalt overskud og indlevelse. De stærke sider er mange, men til trods herfor kan skiven ikke sige sig helt fri for kritikpunkter. Mest af alt falder det i ørene, at Wuthering Heights yderst sjældent tænker i andre tonesprog end det allermest velkendte. En meget stor del af numrene trækker på præcis de samme melodiske og harmoniske vendinger, som eksempelvis hæderkronede Iron Maiden altid har været ypperlige eksponenter for, og med en samlet spilletid lige omkring en time kan denne tonale monotoni under tiden tage fokus fra det ellers varierede lydbillede. Jeg savner som en generel ting det afgørende pift af inspireret kompositionsevne, der kan få Wuthering Heights’ musik helt op at ringe. I den endelige opgørelse står og falder vurderingen dog med Wuthering Heights’ evne til at skabe indlevende, medrivende og overbevisende historiefortælling, fuld af nerve, og det formår de så bestemt på Salt.

Apochs - APOCHS - Webzine - USA - 5 out of 5 points
Wuthering Heights has always been an impressive act since the band's debut album, Within, hit shelves back in 1999. Salt marks the band's fifth studio effort, and simply does not let the listener down once again. Staying far away from much of the stereotypes of the styles they mesh together, the band plays more of a Power Metal album then anything, utilizing some Progressive riffs and change-ups in the musical pace. Playing the music like this, however, really causes the album to stand out, as it adds more of an edge to the sound here. Aside that, there's also a Folk element which will appear through random moments that typically are slower segments in a song, or through the guitar work tracks. You can really feel the folk element appear in tracks like "The Last Tribe (Mother Earth)", as well as through the Folk instruments utilized during the bridges on the track "The Field" and the acoustic folk lead-in track "Water of Life". But, these aren't really the most stand out moments. Honestly, the bridge in "The Field" is a little out of place, but will not deter the listener from enjoying the track at all. It's the more powerful guitar riffs throughout that stems from Power Metal that really drive the album home. Tracks like "The Desperate Poet" and "The Mad Sailor" really cause the album to stand out through the more melodic guitar work that hammers at the listener. While the album itself is very impressive right from the start, nothing on this release can compare to the overall epic closing track "Lost At Sea", which is perhaps the most intense track off the album, and manages to blend all three styles together in perfect harmony to create one of the most epic song introductions you will probably hear all year. The problem with this is that, for as intense as the start to this song is, it seems to be all for nothing as it suddenly slows down to a ballad for a bit before even starting to pick back up, interrupting the flow of the song. This track is far from bad, just could have been better had it fed off the material the band wrote to kick the track off with. Too bad, as the song actually does become a bit generic from there, and winds up being the only real let down of the album. Given the track length of over sixteen minutes, it was to be expected, really. Either way, Salt is one hell of a Progressive Power Metal ride from start to finish. The brilliance of the music Wuthering Heights put together on this album cannot be denied, making this a stand out must own album of the year. With the exception of half way through the final track, Salt features enough solid and intense material to keep the listener addicted and coming back for many more listens to come.

Burt Wolf - BEOWULF PRODUCTIONS - Webzine - USA - no rating
Finally after three years of silence the Danish Metal band WUTHERING HEIGHTS has unleashed their newest and fifth album, "SALT". These guys are one of the best bands out there today playing this style of music. They are a Power / Progressive Metal band that delivers much more. They infuse many elements of Speed, Thrash, Folk and Celtic music into their sound. The vocals remind me of Dee Snider if he was in a Folk Metal band. If you would take the best parts of DRAGONFORCE, ELUVITIE, RHAPSODY, ENSIRFERUM, BLIND GUARDIAN & DIO and added in Celtic & Folk music, then you'd get WUTHERING HEIGHTS. There are a lot of twists and turns in their music that takes you on a musical voyage like nothing you've heard before and that you would want to take over and over again. Check out the interview I did with them for their last release!

Marty Dodge - BLOGCRITICS MUSIC - Webzine - USA - no rating
You probably would have never guessed that Emily Bronte’ would be an inspiration for some fine power metal. Then again, they band deserve kudos for being original and not being a sub-Genesis Peter Gabriel inspired English prog band with that name. They are from Denmark instead of the UK, but produce some very fine progressive metal. There is a touch of Dio as well as Savatage, which any readers of this column will know is not a bad thing. Like Tyr there is a vaguely nautical tinge to this release, hence the album title. Songs like “The Mad Sailor”, “Lost at Sea”, and “Weather the Storm” seems to fit perfectly with the coastal setting in which I currently reside. Their progressive metal sea shanty is quite entertaining and the choruses are as heavily catchy as you would expect. The sing-along quality of the tracks make their progressive, power-metal style more accessible than some releases. This is the fifth album from the band and I am quite sure this is one of their best. Great stuff from the Danes, and no weepy morose prose in sight.

Mike SOS - CRUSHER METAL - Webzine - USA - no rating
Danish progressive power metal crew Wuthering Heights return with their fifth installment of melodic metallic fare, an epic nine-track offering that takes to the sea for inspiration this time around entitled Salt. Comprised of exercises in symphonic speed metal with a propensity for galloping harmonies and interludes derived from both forest-dwelling folk metal and eclectic progressive metal, this sextet exude virtuoso chops with painstaking attention paid to the rousing and detail oriented power metal characteristics which allow melodies to soar with a distinct hard-hitting gracefulness (“The Desperate Poet”). Imagine the uplifting atmosphere of Blind Guardian with the technical prowess of Dragonforce (“The Last Tribe”, “Tears”) with a fiery lead vocalist leading the affair through the vast waters of the metal world for a reference point of what to expect from this passionate and boisterous bunch and their latest theatrically-driven metal affair.

Craig Hartranft - DANGERDOG - Webzine - USA - 4.5 out of 5 points
My personal recommendation: buy everything that Wuthering Heights has produced, at least from To Travel for Evermore to the present and current release Salt. Still propelled by founder and principal player, Erik Ravn, this Danish band defies categorization. With Wuthering Heights you will find diverse elements: prog metal, power metal, folk metal, bits of thrash, and pure classic melodic heavy metal. An amalgamation, certainly, and Wuthering Heights is better for it, and so are we. Why? Because with the creativity there's an authentic intensity and enthusiasm. You can hear it The Desperate Poet, The Mad Sailor, or Tears, where those eclectic elements are combined and pushed with beauty and fervor. The brilliance is in the arrangements, pure and simple. Nevertheless, some may take issue with Nils Patrik Johansson vocal performance. I've been a fan of Mr. Johansson for some time, from his work with Wuthering Heights to Astral Doors to Lion's Share. However, if you listen carefully, Johansson always sounds the same on most every recording, unless there are moments when he doesn't have to sing metal (as on Weather the Storm and Water of Life, by example). Though I'm still a huge fan, I'm beginning to think Nils is becoming like a character actor, pigeon-holed into a predictable performance. He needs to expand his range, and find more diverse opportunities. Still, in Wuthering Heights' milieu, Mr. Johansson delivers the goods. Maybe he should forget his other projects and stay here. The only thing left to do here is to pick my favorites on Salt. But that is an extremely difficult task. Not withstanding its quasi-maritime, dark, and apocalyptic themes, I'm still compelled by the music. Remembering the aforementioned tracks add also Water of Life and Lost at Sea. Wuthering Height's Salt is intense, creative, and inspiring: some of the best eclectic and progressive metal this year. Strongly recommended!

MetalGrail - ENCYCLOPAEDIA METALLUM - Webzine - USA - 97 out of 100 points
Full length album number five from WUTHERING HEIGHTS has finally done it. This one officially accords them legend status. Argue all you like. But there’s no arguing with five terrifyingly powerful and extraordinarily consistent releases. In there somewhere they’ve even managed a genuinely visionary trilogy. So let’s see what happened in 2010. The album’s called ‘Salt’. The metaphor cleverly sums up the interweaving of the sea and tears as lyrical themes. There’s lots to cry about, but this isn’t depressing, depressed or depressive metal. The language is speed shaped out of folk and power prog. And just before you hit the ‘back’ tab on your browser, trust me – it’s prog for people who hate prog. I'll prove it, even without going through every single song. A song like “Away” is overture territory. You get a steroid injected sea shanty crossed with a doom metal dirge crossed with a speed metal head rush. In the end it’s hard to believe any band can manage so epic a spell with a track that runs less than a minute and a half. But from hereon we’re averaging around six minutes per song. No padding, no jamming and no been there before. Just master songwriter Erik Ravn calling the shots. He writes everything and is an absolute puppet master extraordinaire. “The Desperate Poet” is actually interesting for another reason. It allows Ravn a nod to another epic songwriting genius. The lyrics are a bombastic journey about writer’s block. But that’s just the cue. The music opens with an old school metal anthem stab followed by a gallop and chorus that seem to be saying the music is doing exactly what the words are saying: I’m stuck for ideas and I’m trying to dig myself out of it. And it’s about this point that the prog side step moves into Jim Steinman territory. If you don’t know who that is, look it up. You haven’t lived. In Ravn’s hands we end up with a melodramatic closing coda done metal. “The Mad Sailor” is a meaning of life song built on a metaphor that the album will keep coming back to: the storm at sea. The philosophical angle here is “no regrets”. The musical angle is take no prisoners. The end result is power metal shifts in a head on collision with speed metal outbursts. Almost exactly the same thing can be said for “Tears” and “Weather the Storm”. More lost soul and lost moment lyrics set to a tidal wave of choruses with an insanely catchy hook and guitar work that’s too damn restless to ever settle: neoclassical wizadry, thrash intensity, power chords and blinding speed for starters. “The Last Tribe (Mother Earth)” continues the eco requiem theme of the song “Tree” from two albums back. On that one Ravn paid a tribute every bit as majestic as the magnificent trees the song immortalised. Here the canvas is wider still. Nature itself is dying and Ravn has something to say. But no hippy anthem this. You get fast and pounding and a chorus that manages sad and uplifting and furious. But the fear and trembling finds peace at last in “The Field”. Here the message has nothing to do with destruction. It’s all about the simple dream of life on the land. The melody sways like a drinking song. Enjoy it because things are about to get ugly. “Lost at Sea” runs for almost 17 minutes. Hell it’s almost an EP in its own right. In fact hell it’s a trip into hell. Not in a bad way. Just in a way that makes the song title come to life through hell-may-care prog twist and turns like a ship tossed in a merciless storm. You’ll have to listen to this one a few times. Quite a few times. After that you won’t stop listening to it. The song and the album that is.

BloodIronBeer - ENCYCLOPAEDIA METALLUM - Webzine - USA - 91 out of 100 points
Stylistically Wuthering Heights is a unique hodge-podge of influences, and they are not ashamed of letting those influences shine through when most bands would keep to the conventional. A progressive metal skeleton houses folk, power metal and traditional metal with a hint of 80’s rock. On Salt, there’s a noticeable shift to the power metal side (Gamma Ray influence especially) But what has always been my favorite attribute of this band is their whimsical song writing. The structure of the songs is such that it is interesting and unique. The songs will make sudden tempo changes or style changes with the least foreshadowing. If it was any other band, I might be left questioning their ability to put together a song, but the majority of the time they pull it off well. And it’s what makes Wuthering Heights so fun to listen to. An example of this: in the song Tears, after a solo, an acoustic passage develops, it builds for a second, after a few measures, out of the clear blue sky, a tempo change into power metal fury! Then back into another lead. You just can’t see that acoustic part ending there, but it does. And they make it work. When Nils sings in Astral Doors, the mediocrity of the band weighs him down. But in Wuthering Heights? There is no denying this guy’s excellence. He’s genuine. He’s powerful. He’s versatile. His voice isn’t thin and annoying like some power metal vocalists. His voice is full and commanding. The awesomeness of these lyrics cannot be overstated. The abundant metaphors never cease in hitting the mark. I don’t find myself relating to and feeling so connected to lyrics often, but song after song on this album, I feel like I might as well have written them. The Mad Sailor paints a picture of someone accepting a tragic fate (be it personal fate, or the fate of the world), with a laugh and a drink! “I will dance on the gunwale, as the ship’s going down, I will write no solemn epitaph for a world that’s gone insane.” Weather the Storm, conversely, seems to speak to persevering through strife. “Let that be the hope that we cling to, let that be the rope we hold on to, and when the Sun comes over the hills, I suspect we will be here still.” The lyrics can really be seen as personal, or applied to all that’s going on in the world right now. The band has always had a lightheartedness about them, but ulterior to this is a profoundness that few bands achieve. This is epitomized in The Mad Sailor both in terms of the bleakness of the beginning of the song, and the upbeat chorus; and in terms of the dichotomy depicted in the lyrics. The few negatives I see on this album, are the couple times where the sporadic song writing doesn’t seem to work. This essentially ruins Water of Life which upon it's beginning sounds of a classic Irish jig. But then it breaks very, very abruptly into a chorus which is just garbage. Absolute style and tempo change again, and it doesn’t work. It fails. And it fails bad. The only other draw back I see, is some of the leads and solos are uninspired. Running through the scales, filling some space. The runs just aren’t as clean or as memorable as the last couple releases. That said, the good outweighs the bad in spades. Right now, this is the most relevant album in the universe. To me personally, and for all the happenings in the world in general. This album provides a lot of catchy, intelligent, and genuine songs, and the theme helps to make the entire album feel relevant and cohesive. This is a band that I thought might have been passing their prime, but I stand corrected.

Elmet - ENCYCLOPAEDIA METALLUM - Webzine - USA - 97 out of 100 points
“Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the wise To talk; one thing at least is certain, that Life flies: One thing is certain and the Rest is Lies; The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.” You might wonder why I started with a quatrain from the Persian poet and philosopher called Omar Khayyam, who lived in the latter half of the eleventh and first quarter of the twelfth century and whose philosophy could be summed up in a single epigram: “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” – "Carpe Diem! Memento Mori". It’s simply because after I finished listening to this album I had a strange feeling as if I finished reading the “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”, but this time only written in music not in stanzas. What fostered my interest into Wuthering Heights, in the first place, is my brief encounter with Nils Patrik Johansson’s vocals on Richard Andersson’ Space Odyssey. Tracks like “Despair and Pain” and “Embrace the Galaxy” from Embrace the Galaxy (2003), “Dazzle The Devil” and “Astral Episode” from Astral Episode (2005) reveal such a superlative performance of his that instigating an interest into his endeavours becomes inevitable. Astral Doors and Lion’s Share, both from Sweden, are two other bands that have the privilege of using his beautiful voice, or should I say his hoarse penetrating voice depending on your point of view. But it wasn’t until I listened to Wuthering Heights that my enthusiasm for his singing grew. To my delight I discovered more than I bargained for. The music this band set out to play combined together with Johansson’s melancholy tinged voice maintains a relationship of perfect symbiosis. An equilibrium of forces equally important in the creation of a music with reconciling beauty of unusual kind. If good music gives wings to my soul then great singing flaps them. I have to admit that I have always had a soft spot for great singers and writers who keep an eagle eye on lyrics quality. Wuthering Heights songs have always been very supple in its presentation, by which I mean they take great liberties with the amazing blend of genres. So musically this album is not much different from the previous two releases where Erik Ravn writes brooding music of outstanding quality and then the rest of the crew puts the finishing touches. But is it all that simple? Not from my point of view. You know it is only music after all but beneath the surface there should be far greater things to be discovered. You can get the finest instruments and then let the most talented musicians in the world play them. But what if the offering doesn’t harbour the feeling that affects right down within you? Then it’s all null and void. For me a masterpiece should send a shiver down the spine, otherwise it is altogether lacking in being impressive, if not in originality. There are many great bands out there. And a handful of them are the originators of genres followed with myriads trying to imitate them. When it comes to Wuthering Heights, this band is so highly original that you can’t imagine any other band even sounding like them let alone copying. Well maybe except for the tired cliché that Nils Patrik Johansson sounds a bit like R. J. Dio. Yes, indeed he does, but that’s all there is and nothing else. His voice has delicate human touch that will keep you warm and safe through the cold winter. The album begins with a track called “Away” serving as a prologue that invites us to far away voyages of fantastic imageries. As this one rolls by a “Desperate Poet” enters the stage with these witty words: “If Shakespeare himself be raised from his grave / There’d be no words for the emptiness I feel” and right afterwards we enjoy some memorable solos reminiscent of the absolutely beautiful chorus before the song completely takes off. This one is easily one of their best songs and you can trace the relics of their versatile inventiveness in this particular song. The following two tracks “The Mad Sailor”, “The Last Tribe” and the fifth one “Weather the Storm” are almost just as good, each one showing variations and tempo changes throughout. The seventh track called “The Field” is equally interesting and has a truly impressive chorus which conjures me up pictures of simple country men lives moving across my field of vision. Each time I hear this chorus I can’t help but put on an indulgent smile and feel the will to trade my life for days gone by and dwell there for many eons whee there is neither pain nor gain. Once again here I turn to old Khayyam to paraphrase what this song depicts for me : “Here with a little Bread beneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Book of Verse – and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness – Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow” The rest fares less well with little treasures in their own right. The last song “Lost At Sea”, being the longest and probably the least interesting for me would be better off without the annoying chorus that just spoils the integrity of the song. Though it may be a matter for debate for some, in my humble opinion had this chorus been replaced with the rousing verses that we encounter only in the next half of the song, going like: “Touching the stars / Perchance to dream…” this final track could have been one of their finest and only add to the strength of the record. It would be difficult for me to name any other band during the last years which has so firmly taken hold of me. I haven’t felt so much passion for a band since the fledgling years of Skyclad back in the early 90s. “Salt” is a very good album, with each song looking like a separate poem that account for the expressions of an old sailor’s own life and experiences, whose paradise lies in the simple man’s wishes. Some albums take you a long time to get into, and others like this one just grab you, but still possessing the magic to steadily grow on you the more you listen to it. And if you do listen to it with lyrics in your hands, you will get the ultimate experience of this delightful rarity. You shall discover a rewarding music coupled with a noble philosophy which will guide you through the mysteries of life. “Some for the Glories of This World; and some Sigh for the prophet’s Paradise to come; Ah, take the Cash, and let the Promise go, Nor heed the brave Music of a distant Drum” - Omar Khayyam

Coverkiller - GAME 1010 - Webzine - USA - 8.5 out of 10 points
(this is a video review - if the video doesn't show up here below, please click on the link above to view it)


GB - GOLDEN BIRD, THE - Webzine - USA - A+ rating
On April 12, the Danish progressive power metal band, Wuthering Heights, released their latest album, Salt. I have grown very fond of this band after hearing their previous two releases, Far From the Madding Crowd and The Shadow Cabinet. Prior to listening to this album, I was unsure whether the band would be able to match the two aforementioned ones. However, they have easily done so with Salt, creating what could very possibly be 2010′s best record. Salt is, like all other Wuthering Heights albums, a progressive power metal album with a heavy folk influence. Still, its differences are plentiful enough as to make it a must-hear within the band’s catalog. The folk influence is more apparent in this album than the others and takes more of a “pirate” style, which is extremely complimentary given the album’s themes. Though it is mainly metal, there is a large collection of ballads among the songs. There is also much diversity in tone; some songs like “The Mad Sailor” are quite uplifting, while others like “Lost at Sea” grow quite dark. Altogether, there is a variety of moods and styles given by this album, yet the album stays true to itself. With the current lineup, Wuthering Heights is basically a power metal supergroup. The majority of the members are from reputable power and/or progressive bands, and it is evident with each individual’s instrumental performance. The vocalist, from Astral Doors, presents highly creative phrasing and a great deal of range and power. Also from Pyramize, the drummer gives unorthodox accentuation in his beats, and reaches far beyond the standard double bass/snare/hi hat power metal beats. Band founder Eric Ravn alongside Manticora’s guitarist produce amazing riffs and solos, as well as beautifully crafted acoustic sections. The keyboardist, also a member of Audiovision, enhances the musical mood with background support, but also gives the occasional melody of which is never short from stellar. And though the bassist did not stand out as much as he did in previous efforts, his technicality and musical sense is commendable. On all fronts, there is nothing undeserving of praise. Just like anything remotely relevant to the word “progressive,” there is a great deal of musical subtleties and complexities to be appreciated. The song structures are very unconventional, often with a large number of different sections. Still, every song feels whole and properly pieced together. The transitions between sections, whether sudden or gradual, are always appropriate and fitting. Every piece is also extremely dynamic due to the great deal of tempo and time signature changes. Key changes are not as heavily employed, but just as effectively done so. There are no shortcomings in the overall musical construction of this album. Though the album has a similar feel to the former releases, it still brings new creative ideas to the power metal scene. The album explores a more folksy approach to music. In conjunction with the heavy power metal style, it is something rarely executed at such a high level. However, Wuthering Heights never fails to do so. They produce sounds that many avoid, either due to incompetence or ignorance. This band shows themselves to be the opposite of both. Also, the high level of complexity given by the album feels familiar, yet new. In other words, it has characteristics that make it unmistakably a Wuthering Heights album, but is still refreshing and is, more importantly, a step forward in the power-prog scene. This is an album that cannot be missed. Its music is at the highest level of creativity, and its instruments are no less impressive. The style is distinctly that of Wuthering Heights, yet is unique even within the bands collection. Listening to this album is guaranteed to be a new and fulfilling experience, as well as a realization of how hypothetical boundaries, such as those set by the definition of power metal, are meant to be broken. Salt is one of the few albums which I would deem “perfect”.

Jon - HEAVY METAL SALOON, THE - Webzine - USA - 90 out of 100 points
ROW...ROW...ROW...' I was instantly endeared to this album by that menacing seafarer's chant in the intro 'Away!' What endeared me further friends is that, previously unbeknownst to myself, Nils Patrick Johansson is the singer for this band. While his Dio-like, theatrical voice has always made Astral Doors more interesting than they would otherwise be, I had yet to hear him really challenged by some awesome songwriting. Far from Astral Doors' back-to-basics metal and rock, Salt is a hearty buccaneering adrenalin rush. The guitars fire great cannon gouts of power chords and triumphant melodies from bow to bow, the seas racing and crashing with the pummeling force of the drums, and all the while Nils perched high in the rigging, an albatross hanging from his neck as he composes the howling ballads of the nautical carnage beneath. Nils and indeed the rest of the band immediately grip their audience with the dark, rushing power metal anthem 'The Desperate Poet' with some truly excellent lyrics: "I sign my name in blood but it's not binding, I turn over every stone but I'm not finding...anything!" The excessive rhyming and panicked-sounding vocal delivery really drive home the idea of a poet in frustrations with his inability to let forth his creative juices. I never knew a song about writer's block could be so bloody exciting. You'll be headbanging your way around Elizabeth I's court in a big white shirt with a quill too, mark my words. Here as everywhere else on the album the guitars are a potent Molotov of passionately complex neoclassical noodlings and thick, grating rhythms that along with the solid drums and catchy, deep vocals make for power metal cut from a rare cloth. "The meaning of life well I couldn't really care, But this could be the last time we come up for air" How Nils sounds so goddamn genuinely emotional over the accordion on 'The Mad Sailor' is beyond me. With their folky sound and frequent shifts in tempo, Wuthering Heights aren't a damn sight too far away from Manticora's motoring, gloomy power metal, just far better in every single way and retaining the ability to rouse true joy in their listeners' hearts with huge shanty choruses, while 'The Last Tribe (Mother Earth)' strikes a fine balance between merry acoustic verses and its enormous sorrowful chorus. One thing I would say there is that the verse melody used is almost identical to that of 'Jolene' by Dolly Parton. It's OK though, I like that song. All this is done with the utmost attention to credibility and integrity. A track like 'Tears' exhibits the talent of this band for making use of piratical themes and occasionally sounds without ever gravitating towards the cheddar, only awesome breakneck metal complimented by sublime strummed acoustic guitars and violin solos that are soon blasted away by the methodical detonation of throaty power chords and racing solos. Of the many metal genres in which I indulge, power metal most of all seemed to have stopped providing the exhilaration it used to. Well, Salt must be the most exciting album I've heard all year. Both 'Weather the Storm' and 'The Field' get the heart racing with the touching fellowship of the chorus lines of the former, and the neoclassical shredding of the latter that is exciting enough to make you forget you ever saw a bunch of guys on Youtube playing the Four Seasons with their guitar in their bedroom. Technical and passionate enough to raise the pulse of the dead. After a gang-assisted ode to thirst-quenching water, Wuthering Heights finally sail their battered galleon over the edge of the world with the sixteen minute finale 'Lost at Sea', their very own 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' with galloping riffs and strident choruses. All sixteen minutes of this is packed with a wealth of rhythms and melodies that truly capture the feeling of being lost at sea - becalmed at one moment, hurled between the waves the next, every now and again a maddened confidence taking hold of you as you attempt to look death in the face and sail into the heart of the squall. Not that I've ever been lost at sea, I've just watched Pirates of the Caribbean a fair bit. That last track is perhaps what pushes Salt over the line between great and brilliant. This band has some serious songwriting chops, not to mention a ton of talent with their instruments and in Nils' case lungs. Endeavour to lay your rudder-callused paws on this beauty, snap open the rum and hold on for a hell of a voyage.

Matt Coe - IMHOTEP - Webzine - International - 5 out of 6 points
One of my favorite symphonic power metal acts of all time returns with their fifth full length. Sweeping guitars, folk parts, and the incomparable vocal mastery from Nils Patrik Johansson should appeal to all Blind Guardian, Skyclad and Savatage fans. I love the folk shuffle within “The Mad Sailor” and don’t mind the longer 3-4 year time gap between efforts, as Wuthering Height keep the quality on high, the arrangements exciting and offer all the skill and expertise I expect in an album.

Dark Emperor - INFERNAL MASQUERADE - Webzine - USA - 91 out of 100 points
Four years have passed since the release of the acclaimed “The Shadow Cabinet” and finally we have Wuthering Heights returning with another Power Metal masterpiece. The Danish sextet has managed not only to equal their impressive last album, but greatly improve over it with “Salt”. With a brilliant combination of Power, Progressive Metal, and some minor Folk Metal influences. Wuthering Heights has released a very impressive set of albums since “Within”, and have been improving constantly over time making them one of the premiere European Power Metal bands in our opinion. "Salt" starts with the traditional expectation-builder intro song and then it explodes into the brilliant Power Metal anthem “The Desperate Poet”. This first real song will blow you away from start to end and it sets the bar for how good this release is going to be. The album features a wide variety of different sounding songs, ranging from Power Metal anthems to Hard Rock ballads, that will surely appeal every fan of the genre an the band. If you heard Wuthering Heights before, or any other of Nils Johansson’s projects, you should know that he does a great job in portraying emotions on his vocals, making them sound just right for any type of occasion. “Salt” features another one of Nils great vocal performances as you will notice how the lyrics are brought to life by his versatile pipes. Musically, Wuthering Height’s does a great job at writing catchy songs with epic choruses that will stay on your head once this album has ended. And this is for us one of the most important things a Power Metal band should do. The guitar work is excellent, courtesy of Erik Ravn, Teddy Möller, and Andreas Lindahl, featuring some blistering guitar solos and an overall quality that only a few bands come close to. Rounding the mix is a very tight and consistent drum track that holds the music together brilliantly. The hard rock anthem “Water Of Life” is a perfect example of how versatile Withering Heights is. The song has both a folk and a hard rock edge to it, the vocals are just excellent and sound like something that either Rod Stewart of The Moody Blues would have composed. The same goes for the song “The Last Tribe” that features a brilliant high caliber chorus section, especially tailored for all the metalhead tree-huggers out there. “Salt” in our book is the best Power Metal album released so far in 2010, so if you are a fan of the genre or the band check this one out.

Logan - KEEP IT METAL - Webzine - USA - 9.5 out of 10 points
Now here is some epic music. Wuthering Heights hails from Copenhagen, Denmark. Their latest album, Salt, picks up perfectly where The Shadow Cabinet (2006) left off and that is a very good thing. The Shadow Cabinet was very well received, in fact, it’s hard to find a review with anything bad to say about it. The same goes for Salt. I really don’t have anything bad to say about it. The music can best be classified as progressive power metal with some folk elements. I hate cheesy power metal. You know, the power metal where they sound like they are trying way too hard to be epic. This is different. Wuthering Heights doesn’t sound like they are trying at all. They just are freaking epic. This is also some of the most technical and interesting power metal out there. It’s not quite as technical as DragonForce, but for me it is way more interesting. In DragonForce I feel like a lot of the notes are just there to make the listener go, “Holy mother of god!”. With Wuthering Heights I feel like each note is an essential step forward on the journey. Their melodies tell a story. They wind as though traveling across a land. The dynamics really make this an enjoyable album. The vocals are not your typical power metal fare. Nils Patrik Johansson’s voice is clean but there is a bit gruffness that gives him a unique sound in a genre that really needs it. I would recommend this for fans of Kiuas, DragonForce, Orden Ogan, Six Magics, Mutiny Within, and similar bands. I’m not a power metal guy so feel free to recommend more similar bands. I can’t imagine anyone releaseing with a better progressive power metal album this year. This is a must have for fans of the genre. Even if you are not a fan of the genre check it out just for the musicianship and songwriting.

Shannon Joy - LA MUSIC BLOG - Webzine - USA - no rating
Danish power metal sextet Wuthering Heights are gearing up for the release of their fifth studio album, Salt, on April 27th through Scarlet Records. An impressive act since their 1999 debut, Wuthering Heights continue to release their unique blend of music that pushes the boundaries of traditional power metal, incorporating unconventional elements and straying from popular genre commonalities. Their virtuosic speed metal influence, mixed with strong folk elements, such as bagpipes, violins, and flutes, make Salt the most innovative album in their catalog to date. Salt’s musical complexities are ultimately what set it apart from its predecessors and place Wuthering Heights in a league of their own. From the atypical tempos and transitions to the dynamic time changes, the overall construction of this album immeasurably showcases Wuthering Heights’ versatility. And while the musicality is indeed reminiscent of a pirate adventure, there is much diversity in the tone throughout. Closing track, “Lost at Sea,” boasts one the the most majestic song intros of the year, evoking sonic elements that are equal parts “Reign in Blood” and Dragonforce. The 16-minute journey smoothly transitions from an epic ballad to a relaxation hymn, closing Salt with calming sea sounds and complimentary acoustic slides. The sheer brilliance of Wuthering Heights’ musicianship makes Salt an undeniably solid effort. Thematically, the album might seem somewhat hokey, though the utter intensity and broad range of influences are enough to impress heavy music fans across the board.

Nima - LORDS OF METAL - Webzine - Holland - 79 out of 100 points
Wuthering Heights has been delivering albums every couple of years since 1999 and anno 2010 the band has reached album number five! I could definitely appreciate the band’s previous albums, but I must admit that I have never been able to handle a Wuthering Heights album from the beginning to the end in one sitting. The music is simply too progressive for my taste and I can’t handle the many changes of the atmosphere and tempos that easily; the same problem I have with genre-mates Symphony X! In general ‘Salt’ fits well to the previous albums. The symphonic power metal is again provided with fast riffs, beautiful solos, atmospheric keyboards and a load of influences from the folk and classical corners. The comparisons with Symphony X and especially Rhapsody (Of Fire) are again too obvious and the whole picture is presented majestically theatrical and grand. And yet the album differs from it predecessors. The current pirate mania hasn’t remained unnoticed to these gentlemen and so ‘Salt’ has become a concept album (at least if I’m right) about a pirate. I must say that I personally care little for this, but I also must say that the band has succeeded in creating a soundtrack-like atmosphere that fits perfect to this concept and takes you on a journey on the wild seas. The weakest link on this album however, is vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors, Lion’s Share). Johansson is definitely a respectable singer and I could really appreciate his performance on the third album ‘Far From The Madding Sun’, but on the last album ‘The Shadow Cabinet’ he already disappointed me a bit. On this album he has changed his course almost completely and sounds like a stereotype pirate! You might think that the idea fits the concept, but on the main part of the album I find him quite ridiculous. And when he also combines that with the theatrical element, I have to try really hard to be able to take him seriously. Hereby he definitely lowers the musical level. And what a damn shame that is! Because ‘Salt’ is a beautiful, variable and a high-quality musical piece, but gets ruined because of the average vocals! Just listen to the majestic, sixteen-minute epos ‘Lost At Sea’ and you’ll definitely understand what I’m saying. If this gentlemen had put up the same performance as he did on the aforementioned third album, ‘Salt’ would have been highly recommendable. Now it doesn’t get further than “a good album, but still no top of the bill”! Alas, alas, alas!

Mark Gromen - METAL ASYLUM - Webzine - USA - 8.5 out of 10 points
On their four previous albums, Denmark’s Wuthering Heights have remained less than a cult act, even recruiting Astral Doors vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson did little to raise the international profile. That’s about to change, given the quality of "Salt", which seamlessly spans power metal, folk and progressive genres (even a bit of the current pirate craze, ‘The Mad Sailor’) to create an enjoyable, lively listen. The brainchild of guitarist Erik Ravn, an expert composer, he weaves grandiose collection of tales surrounding life on and/or around the sea, like ‘The Last Tribe (Mother Earth)’, which incorporates dual vocals, a cappella voice and acoustic guitar. A Celtic lilt (‘Weather The Storm’) is inherent in Ravn’s audio-vision, punctuated by pipes, concertina and similar folk influences, but only sparingly. In that regard, Wuthering Heights are similar to the better known Falconer. There’s the short beer hall sing-a-long ‘Water Of Life’ and mammoth (16:30) ‘Lost At Sea’ closer, all regal, without pomposity. "Salt" is definitely worth a taste!

Sargon the Terrible - METAL CRYPT - Webzine - USA - 1 out of 5 points
I fondly recall hating this band's 2004 album Far From The Madding Crowd, as it was an album so full of obvious talent in service to terrible, wrongheaded songwriting that it was actually fun to hate. Not really surprising that Wuthering Heights have become even more competent and ridiculous in the intervening years. This is supposed to be a 'harder, heavier' Wuthering Heights, by which they mean the band has discovered what that 'overdrive' button on their amps is for, and there is actually some heaviness going on here. If you claim that WH are talented performers you will get no argument from me, as they are sharp, tight, clean players, and singer Nils Johansson is obviously pro. If you said they are talented songwriters then please let me point out that you are a fucking idiot. This is an album put together by a band who have no songwriting aesthetic besides "MORE", and their sound is an overloaded mess with little coherence or direction. Every musical choice on this disc is explicable only by the shrug if shoulders and the words "for some reason", as there is never any good reason for the decisions they make. They remain as devoted to silly polka melodies as ever, and despite some actually good riffs here and there, the whole is buried under a slurry of pretension and wanking. You could argue that this is a 'good' band by some measure I am not familiar with, but this is clearly a band who know or care very little about metal, and have no sense of metal songwriting. If you like this album, fine. But its relevance as a metal album is nil, and whatever personal affection you have for it should be tempered with shame.

Terry Bunch - METAL LIFE - Webzine - USA - 10 out of 10 points
Absolute perfection. This CD is mixture of power metal and folk metal influences that blend together to become a must own CD. This is one of those rare CDs that you can listen to over and over and each time you will discover something new. This is a contender for "CD of the Year". Intelligent and emotive lyrics combine with skillful songwriting to create a true metal masterpiece. The first time I listened to this CD, I was unable to take notes as I usually do when reviewing. I was struck and had to just listen. I could not believe how fantastic it was, I almost felt privileged to be able to hear it. Hell, this is one of my favorite metal CDs of all time. Stand out tracks include: "The Mad Sailor", "The Desperate Poet" and the epic 16 minute long "Lost at Sea".

Vera - METAL NOSE - Webzine - Holland - 9 out of 10 points
Wat is dit een dijk van een plaat! Nu zijn we altijd wel een zekere kwaliteit gewend van het Deens/Zweedse Wuthering Heights, maar op het vijfde studioalbum ‘Salt’ zijn componist/Multi-instrumentalist Erik Ravn en zijn mannen in grote doen. Erik liet zich ditmaal inspireren door de zee en de titel ‘Salt’ vat alles samen. En natuurlijk draagt de prachtige stem van Nils Patrik Johansson (ook frontman in Astral Doors en Lion’s Share) veel bij tot de charme van deze muziek. De man zingt op de epische Dio-manier en enige dramatiek en theatrale tendensen worden niet geschuwd. De muziek van Wuthering Heights heeft enige overeenkomsten met Rhapsody Of Fire, dat valt me al op tijdens ‘Away!’. Snelle speedy stukken met vingervlugge acrobatie op gitaar en toetsen zijn te vinden in bijna elk nummer. Daarbij blijft het wel vloeiend en melodieus en wordt er veel van tempo gewisseld. Deze plotse beschouwende fragmenten – in het tweede nummer ‘The Desperate Poet’ hebben we er zo al een paar – zijn prachtig. De zang is er vertellend en bedachtzaam. ‘The Mad Sailor’ doet me een beetje aan Iron Maiden denken. De folksy samenzang klinkt meteen bekend in de oren, opgesmukt met polkaritmes en accordeon. Producer Tommy Hansen voegt hier en daar wat Hammond orgel en accordeon toe. Helemaal bekend komen me de zanglijnen in ‘The Last Tribe (Mother Earth)’ voor. En lach niet wanneer ik zeg van waar: het nummer ‘Jolene’, ooit een hit voor rondborstige Dolly Parton. Toch is dit grotendeels een snelle power metal track, met stoere mannenkoren en spetterend gitaarwerk. Ook ‘Tears’ kent vele verrassende wendingen die allemaal vloeiend in elkaar overlopen. Hoogverheven krachtige zang, ‘n aanstekelijk refrein, wederom een snuifje folk en een fragment met akoestische gitaren en contemplatief besluit. De gevoelige zang leidt in ‘Weather The Storm’ naar mooie leads en deze song blijft mediumtempo. Prachtige gitaarsolo’s! We trekken terug ten strijde met galopperende ritmes in ‘The Field’, terwijl het kortere ‘Water Of Life’ een ruw bardenlied is om dronken samen te zingen in de kroeg. Het magnum opus van ‘Salt’ duurt zestien minuten en is de hekkensluiter van dit album. ‘Lost At Sea’ toont nog eenmaal uitgebreid alle sterke troeven van Wuthering Heights en neem maar van me aan dat dit er heel wat zijn. Een schitterend album dat power, speed, simfonisch en folk op een verbluffende wijze verenigt!

Kyle - METALREVIEWS - Webzine - International - 93 out of 100 points (album of the month)
Sometimes I have to set aside all expectations for an album and simply enjoy it for what it is. After Wuthering Height’s last album, The Shadow Cabinet, I had extremely high hopes for a follow-up record, but when the time for the album’s release did come around (and nearly four years later, at that), I had a realization that it was incredibly unlikely that Salt, the band’s fifth album, would surpass it in quality. The Shadow Cabinet was an incredibly original album and, when I really thought about it, not much could’ve been done to that formula to improve it, as said formula was essentially perfect as it was; expectations HAD to be set aside, because otherwise, I was almost surely going to be disappointed. Now normally, this is the part where I tell all of you that Wuthering Heights proved me wrong, that they crafted their true masterwork with Salt, and that never again would I doubt them. But not this time, folks; this new album doesn’t quite meet the standard The Shadow Cabinet set four years ago. But it comes close. DAMN close. Basically, if you’re a Wuthering Heights fan, you can stop reading right now and go buy Salt blindly (though it’d be polite to keep reading!). As Wuthering Height’s line-up hasn’t changed since The Shadow Cabinet, you should know what to expect as far as musicianship goes; diverse and blistering drum work, rock-solid technical guitar riffing, and powerful vocals brought to us by the unmatchable Nils Patrik Johansson insure that even if the music is mediocre (which it is certainly NOT), it will at least be performed by amazingly talented musicians. And while Wuthering Heights hasn’t presented us with their best album here, it is 2nd best in my opinion, and it certainly doesn’t try to replicate The Shadow Cabinet; rather, WB has opted for a more melodic style than they previously shown us while never sacrificing their technicality. The jolly melodies, often backed up with folk instruments such as accordions and violins, are probably a result of the album’s concept; while it may or may not tell a story, per se, a common theme of oceans and sailing is carried on throughout, and some of the lyrics are rather brilliant. The Mad Sailor, a narration from a crazed sea-farer of a doomed ship that he is an unfortunate passenger of, features ironic lines such as ”I will write no solemn epitaphs for a world that’s gone insane.”. And on top of this, the song itself is also amazing; in fact, it’s probably my favorite Wuthering Heights song to date. If that main melody doesn’t make your heart swell the first time you hear it… then man, there’s something wrong with you. In fact, while not the band’s greatest album as a whole, a few songs here are better than anything Wuthering Heights have written previously. The energetic, melodic power metal featured on The Desperate Poet and the sixteen-plus minute song Lost at Sea are other major highlights here, and the latter is an absolutely incredible epic to say the least; if Wuthering Heights, Iced Earth, Stratovarius, and Dream Theater had all banded together to collaborate on one spectacular track, the end result might sound something like this. Melodic lead guitar flourishes, galloping riffs, and ballad-y acoustic segments all mesh together wonderfully on Salt’s closing track, and along with The Mad Sailor, it is the true highlight of the album. But that’s not to say that the other six songs are bad; all are nothing short of great, and while not all of them are entirely memorable, each track is chock full of fast tempos, warm melodies, and creative songwriting that makes Salt a relentlessly entertaining album. But because Salt is bookended by its best songs (The Desperate Poet and The Mad Sailor position themselves at the bow while Lost at Sea anchors the stern), the album seems a bit unbalanced; the middle tracks all have defining moments, but they don’t have their own unique personalities as the best songs do, so therefore the songs tend to blend as Salt journeys into its latter half. Also, the production isn’t quite as well done here as it was on The Shadow Cabinet; lead guitars sound a tad lifeless, somehow, and drums are a bit too quiet for my tastes, though by no means is this album poorly mixed. At the end of the day’s voyage, desite it’s very few flaws, Salt is a truly joyous album, and one that will undoubtedly land a comfortable spot on my year’s end best-of list come next January. Screw Alestorm; THIS is Pirate Metal!

JP - METAL-RULES - Webzine - International - 4.5 out of 5 points
Wuthering Heights have done something that is pretty rare in my listening experience, namely deliver five, world class, consistently awesome metal records. Many bands suffer the ‘sophmore slump’, have line-up changes, song-writing becomes uninspired, bands become influenced by external developments in the musical genres, dabble with alternate influences under the guise of ‘growth’ …not these guys. I got on the bandwagon very early when I ‘discovered’ these guys (Like I can take any credit!) on their debut. I’ve been a big supporter ever since. My colleagues here at Metal-Rules feel the same because their albums are consistently rated very highly. The consistency and stability will help a band but only take them so far. The song-writing and performances have to be the key element and thankfully they still are. The whole album has a bit of a nautical theme, but not pirates but more seafaring and the trials and tribulations that come with it. Songs like ‘The Mad Sailor, ‘Weather The Storm’, 'Lost At Sea', you get the picture….SALT is still somewhat dark and ominous, especially the intro with the spoken word component “Row, Row, Row….”, (which is oddly listed as ‘roll, roll, roll’ in the lyrics) but overall the album has a touch lighter and more upbeat feel than THE SHADOW CABINET. There is a bit more instrumental diversity with the accordion and Hammond organ presented by guest musician Tommy Hansen. Some of these fast songs sound like a full-on metalized jig! Lyrically, the band explores some well-worn territory but add a new twist. For example in the song 'The Field', the lyrics touch on the well-worn topic of the lament of the traveler who longs to be home. However, in the case the story tells a tale of a man, an adventurer who just wants to settle down and be a farmer and is reflecting on his life and the value of the simple things in life, a family a home and so on. There is far more lyrical depth about the seafaring life here than for example a Swashbuckle or Alestorm (both excellent and fun bands by the way) There is a very decent combination of slightly melancholy cuts intermixed with burst of speed giving each song a lot of diversity. This diversity is crucial because there many long songs on the is album, almost all of them eclipse the six-minute mark. However, because of the diversity and tempo-changes, the songs never sound long nor do they drag on, all of them are fully captivating. Speaking of Mr. Hansen, Tommy handles the production chores for the fourth album in a row adding to that aforementioned stability. It is not shocking that the albums sounds fantastic, heavy in the right places, a nice mix and separation in the instruments, vocals nice and loud and clear. Nils has to be one of the best vocalists in metal today. I would be disappointed if this record did not make the Year-End picks by some of our staff because it is a fully deserving and worthy. A very strong contender for the Top 10 and I hope many people get to enjoy this album as much as I do. Another fine chapter in the Wuthering Heights saga.

Kenn Jensen - POWER OF METAL - Webzine - Denmark - 75 out of 100 points      
Ship ahoy mates... Four years have passed since Wuthering Heights released their latest album "The Shadow Cabinet", a very good power metal album with small inputs from progressive metal as well as folk. The constellation remains the same and the influences have not changed that much either, so everything should be in place for another brilliant Wuthering Heights album, right? Not quite I am afraid... Erik Ravn and his shipmates are taking us on a sea journey this time, inspired by the sea and its people. They have implemented some new themes with reference to that particular environment, but the rest do sound too safe and a bit like re-cycling - sure there are glimpses of brilliance, and there is no denying that the band is very capable technically, but they really haven't moved much forward. The harmonies remains the same and the sound universe remains almost the same, which is a bit frustrating because Nils Patrick Johansson proves once more, why many consider him among the best European metal vocalists and the rhythm section is brilliant, but the song writing simply hasn't taken the expected step forward. "Salt" is a solid and well produced power metal album that sadly doesn't quite reach the same high level that their earlier albums did, nor do they live up to my high expectations.

Gandalf's Mother -
PROGARCHIVES - Webzine - USA - no rating
If the Black Pearl had an outboard motor then this is most definitely the music the crew would rock out to. Furious melodies and intense drumming wrapped in a sea shanty style make this album fun to listen to, but whilst the concept is clear, this does hinder the diversity of the album at times. There are some nice acoustic segues and the overall musicianship is of a high quality but the only track I find to be particularly progressive is the excellent finale Lost at Sea. Best served with a glass of rum this one is good, but non-essential. 

Vaxis - RATE YOUR MUSIC - Webzine - International - no rating
Power metal? With folk elements? And traditional hard rock vocals? Uuuggh. - I said in the voice of Jay Sherman's wife from The Critic. Then I heard Far From the Madding crowd and it was actually pretty good. Then I listened to it again and realized that it was among the best power metal albums in recent memory. Then I heard Salt and my power metal top 3 of all time was complete. The haters will find plenty to bash here, but the fact is: Wuthering Heights really did get it right, even more so than ever. Without ever leaving the genre boundaries (even at its folkiest and proggiest this is still unmistakably power metal) they wrote an album that's as integral as it is adventurous. Each song is an example of excellent songwriting, keeping you on the edge of your seat as it develops and unveils, introducing new elements, and even the overly dramatic choruses somehow fit right in and sound cheesy only on the first couple of listens. This is also one of the most consistent albums I've ever heard in the genre: whereas I never really got into The Road Goes Ever on and Lament for Lórien on FFTMC, Salt doesn't have a single part that sounds even remotely like filler material. Salt is not an outstanding power metal record, it's an outstanding record that just happens to be power metal, and coming from me it's quite a compliment. This is album of the year material right here. Abra macabra baby!

Scott Jessup - SEA OF TRANQUILITY - Webzine - USA - 4.5 out of 5 points
When I first sighted the title of this new Wuthering Height CD I thought Salt was an odd choice, but once it becomes apparent that there is a nautical theme running through this metal album, it makes perfect sense. Salt is the fifth album from Wuthering Heights, and some time has passed by since their previous CD The Shadow Cabinet. This was time well spent as the quality songs on Salt were worth the wait. As I mentioned above Salt tells of tales of the sea, with the remains of a washed up ship gracing its cover. Just as the unpredictable sea can transform into a most powerful of storms, so does this latest Wuthering Heights CD once their hearty musical sails are hoisted. Nils Patrik Johansson(Astral Doors, Lions Share) distinct vocals kick off "Away", as they embark on their voyage with the words "Roll,roll,roll Do you hear the waves?, The waves are calling us, To Refuge or to ruin" introducing this albums subject matter. The swift inspiring power metal of Wuthering Heights soon surfaces of which Salt has its share, plus the welcome folk influences come into play making for a wonderful combination. The only non metal song is the short "Water Of Life" and Nils does a fine pirate impersonation on this one. The lively "The Mad Sailor" is one of Salt's best, and "The Field" is another enthralling tune, this one featuring a great mix of heavy music with the input of folk instruments and a scintillating guitar solo. Wuthering Heights close Salt with "Lost At Sea"; this well structured epic runs over sixteen minutes and takes many turns, and as the title implies this song tells of the perils sailors face when they lose their way. The stirring guitar work on this song and others deserves mention, as do the commanding vocals of Nils. "Lost At Sea" is a fine song to conclude Salt, and Wuthering Heights' now have a further impressive CD to their name.

Pudge - STEREO KILLER - Webzine - USA - 4.5 out of 5 points
Abra Macabra, Baby. If not for that isolated, loud exclamation in the beginning of The Mad Sailor, I might not be so taken out of this. I can't say that this is a bad album at all, in fact, it's really good. Wuthering Heights has some chops, and after 21 years as a band, I'm actually surprised that they didn't have some kind of run during the power metal resurgence a few years back. Salt is a concept-ish album that fuses neo-classical power metal to subtle folk influences, and it carries a rolling, maritime theme throughout the whole thing. The songs are powerful and anthemic, full of sing-along choruses that remind me of Sonata Arctica's Reckoning Night and folkish passages that are reminiscent of Elven King's The Winter's Wake. The guitar work is absolutely epic and the drums are powerful as hell. What takes me out of it are some of the lyrics. I mean, come on, 'Abra Macabra, Baby'? Ooof. Just makes the douche chills run right through me. Still, I can overlook bad lyrics, and not all of them are bad. That one, though, is just odious. I should take away a star or two just for that alone, but as I listen to this album again and again, I can't help but like it more and more. The songs are amazingly well-written and thought out. It's nice to hear a band that has an appreciation for their art. The power metal trend may have passed for now, but here is a band that's still going to put out a solid album that actually updates the genre. While I may hate that one lyrical passage, the rest of this album is about as flawless a power metal release as you will ever hear. It could even be pivotal if enough people hear it. Highly recommended for your sea-monster slaying pleasure.

Caroline Restiaux - XPLOSIVE METAL - Webzine - Canada - 9 out of 10 points
From folk to progressive metal comes the Danish metalers Wuthering Heights. Salt is their 5th studio album and it merits high praises. I kick myself in the ass as I write this review because I have never given the band a listen to before now. And if you have not had the chance to listen to them either, then get on it! It is simply damn good Metal! The arrangements in the music are stellar and many bands ( in my opinion ) should listen to to them to learn how great music is made. The band is tighter than a pinhole and leave no room for sloppy dynamics. Nils Patrick Johansson's vocals are nothing short from spectacular and truly enrich the quality of every song. The last tribe and Lost at Sea are stand out songs on the album and are both the longest amongst the rest. My fave tracks on the release are The Desperate Poet and The Mad Sailor, there is not one track on the CD that I didn't like. Although the cover and initial reaction may lead one to believe they are ready to set sail and be one with the pirates, don't be fooled! These are dark tales written about global domination and using your imagination will enable you to draw up some metaphors of your own. If you are a fan of Manticora, Lost Horizon or Astral Doors then you will be pleasantly pleased with this release. The production and cover art are an easy 10. Nothing too over the top but they sure do compete with the very best. Don't just think about it, go out and get it, you won't be disappointed.