WITHIN - reviews

Tresa - METALMINDED - Webzine - USA - 4 out of 5 points
It took a little while for this CD to grow on me, but now it's one of my favorites. There are some abrupt changes in rhythm and pace that caught me offguard at first (such as the vocalist breaking into near-deathy vox during "Sorrow In Memoriam"), but it starts to makes sense the second or third time around. My best description for the sound is keyboard-heavy, folky, sometimes speedy, orchestral prog-metal, but as with most of my favorite music, it's back-and-forth between sounds a lot, so hard to push into one category. This variation is what made me fall in love with this CD, but it's also what made it take a while for it to sink in. Ocassionally, it feels like there is too much going on, and not enough consistency. The pace is very up-and-down. You'll be bouncing to a faster, heavy tune, and it shifts gears into slow and thoughtful for a few moments, then back up again. I love it, but sometimes I just don't want to hear it. Vocalist Kristian Andrén (Tad Morose, Momento Mori) helps make up for the slight consistency ''flaws'' in the music, though. He's got a pleasing, fairly steady (not to be confused with lack of range) mid-range sound that, while not being something I consider spectacular, fits the music well. His tone makes me think of a hyrid between Ian Astbury and James LaBrie. The lyrics are relatively abstract, and so the concept of this *concept* album is still a mystery to me, but there are quite a few catchy verses I find myself singing randomly. "Hunter In The Dark" is the most oft-butchered ("don't know what's draggin' me, just know it's true"), as it's pretty easily the most energetic and catchiest song on this album, with some of the best riffs. Other highlights include the epic "Sorrow In Memoriam" ("which is the curse, which is the gift"), as well as "Too Great Thy Gift" and "The Bird". So, overall, despite that this album hit some of the prog-metal pitfalls, it's still a good release and worth checking out. 

Christopher Lücker - OBLIVION - Magazine - Germany
From my point of view, this definitely isn’t my kind of music, as the Scandinavian’s in this band tends to go into the direction of Stratovarius, Angra or Rhapsody. None of these bands do anything for me with their compositions. But since a real CD review has to be a bit more objective as well, I’ll go by the facts; the seven songs are mainly speed metal with some orchestral inputs. Besides that, the five musicians enriches their sound by incorporating pieces of epic and folk elements, which really makes the songs more interesting. As an example, the long track “Dreamwalker” includes a nice percussion part, folk-melodies and violin-parts. The next song “The Bird” is however enriched by flute parts. Like the above mentioned acts, also Wuthering Heights chooses to have a lot of double bass drumming as well as guitar- and keyboard-solos en masse. The singer is Kristian “Krille” Andrén, who already have been involved in bands such as Tad Morose. Oh well, the main target for Wuthering Heights is quite clear, and fans of the above mentioned bands will definitely have to check out this CD.

Matt Johnson - FEAST OR FAMINE - Magazine - USA
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Sensory is the best label in America, hands down. Playing a style that falls somewhere between Angra and Blind Guardian, Wuthering Heights are less progressive than most of the bands on Sensory, but at the same time, their music is a bit more complex than your average power metal band. The aforementioned bands have exerted a great influence on Wuthering Heights, who seamlessly integrate the folksy, fantastic melodies of Blind Guardian with the neoclassical grace and classy speed of Angra. Serpentine arrangements and a masterful sense of dynamics ensure each song it’s own identity and while the music couldn’t be called progressive, the playing is top notch, particularly the guitar work of mastermind Erik Ravn and keyboardist Rune S. Brink. The bass is largely inaudible, but the drumming, courtesy of Morten Nødgaard is well thought out and impeccavly played. Filling in the gaps and highlighting the stardard instrumentation are guest performances by a flutist and a violinist, both of whom really shine and add a lot to the musical mix. The best thing about Wuthering Heights, though, is the beautiful vocal performance turned in by none other than Kristian Andrén, of Tad Morose, Memento Mori and Fifth Reason fame. It’s nice to hear Andrén fronting an act that isn’t so doomy; he takes to the expanded emotional palette like a bird to the air - soaring, diving, and constantly in motion. His full, resonant voice is the perfect compliment to the music; he meets it’s complexity while grounding the whole affair with wonderfully memorable lines. The production is amazingly clear and deep but unobtrusive, with every instrument and sound perfectly placed. A beautiful cover and the typical gorgeous Sensory package make this a disc that no fan of epic, melodic metal should be without.

Sébastien Castelbou - HEAVY METAL UNIVERSE - Webzine - France - 6 out of 6 points
It's hard to find such a good band, and much harder to find such a great album. In fact, to be honest, "Within" is for me one of the bests heavy speed album ever made, as good as the "Keeper of the seven keys 1 & 2", "Avantasia" and the three Rhapsody's opus ! The seven tracks of this jewel are really fantastic ! From the shorter song (the intro : "Enter the cave"), which is about 3'08'', to the longer one ("Dreamwalker" : 13'38''), the tracks are real masterpieces. Musicaly, it's heavy, it's speed, it's prog', it's ultra-melodic, it's symphonic (because of the flute and the violin), it's hyper-technical, it's a little bit folklo-medieval, it's full of emotions, and Kristian Andrén (ex-Tad Morose, ex-Memento Mori) has one of greatests voice of the heavy metal scene. And even if the songs are various and complex, they are always full of melodies... all of them are what I call Hymns ! Moreover, while listening to this album we just can find that 47'40 is too short, and it seems to be impossible to listen to another one before knowing "Within" by heart !!! In one word, it's EXCELLENT ! And those who don't have this opus have to buy it immediately, whatever the price may be !!!! And if you still don't want it, go and burn in hell you degenerate sons of a sheep!

METAL TRUST - Webzine - USA - 5 out of 5 points
This is one of the best albums of all time, mixing catchy melodies with highspeed double-bass assaults. All the songs are great, especially Sorrow in memoriam and Dreamwalker, which feature memorable choruses and flashy playing. The pick up after the chorus in Dreamwalker is just awesome, mixing various parts each better than the other. Kristian is also doing his best vocal contribution since his Tad Morose days.

Ralf Nusser - EMP - Magazine - Germany - 5 out of 5 points
Wuthering Heights are from Copenhagen. Five years ago the lads recorded a demo in the Sweet Silence Studios, where also Metallica and Blind Guardian have worked. And this brings us to the musical contents. I would call it Blind Guardian meets Angra meets Stratovarius, where the first and last take the lion´s share. The typical Scandinavian singing and the magnificent compositions makes an exciting whole, which, as mentioned, points strongly in the Blind Guardian direction. To this is very aptly added the Stratovarius/Angra-components. The album contains 7 songs, which, with two exceptions, are overlong. The album is super-interesting and really gives you a lust for more. In spite of their huge diversity Wuthering Heights offers unbelievable power. Result: a must-hear. And this not only for fans of the mentioned combos, also Savatage-fans and friends of the straighter section will not be disappointed.

Kenn Jensen - KENN'S POWER & PROGRESSIVE PAGES - Webzine - Denmark - 9½ out of 10 points
Hey, what's this? Another brilliant release from a Danish band! The first few times I listened to this awesome album 2 bands came to mind: Symphony X & Shadow Gallery. Progressive metal at it's best.... Wuthering Heights aren't as symphonic as those 2 bands, but still manage to display their huge talents to write and play great metal. And everything fits like a hand in a glove, a superb production by Jacob Hansen, great melody lines, catchy riffs, a strong and tight rhythm section and above all: a brilliant vocalist! Throw in a bit of folklore (flute & violin) and you end up with this masterpiece..... Tracks like the 13 minutes epic: "Dreamwalker" is sheer brilliance in progressive metal performance, or take my personal favorite the symphonic masterpiece: "Sorrow In Memoriam" (I just love how they use the violin!), or: "Too Great Thy Gift" - a great almost straight forward metal tune with a great solo by Eric Ravn. For all fans of progressive metal there's only one thing to do: Get this album!

Alban Schmid - EDGE OF TIME - Magazine - Intl. - 4.75 out of 5 points
The apparently perpetually extended delay for the debut album (its was recorded August 1998 and was only released November 1999) from this new Danish band was finally worth it: a new gem has been unveiled ! Wuthering Heights can be defined as progressive speed metal, with many similarities to Blind Guardian and hints of Symphony X, even though they are less heavy. Hence, their music has some medieval features, yet not at all in the symphonic, operatic, or neo-classical style a la Rhapsody. The blend is rather a kind of troubadour/folklore metal, alternating fast passages with calmer parts. The melodies are excellent, very catchy but never cheesy. It's a kind of Rhapsody antithesis in the same sub-genre. Additional instruments like flute and violin are also integrated, but with and perfect balance. One of the most interesting points to remark is the presence of progressive features, frequent time and rhythm changes, irregular song structures, etc., which really gives an added value to the music. Musicians are all outstanding, though the main driving force behind the band is clearly the guitarist Erik Ravn. The singer Kristian "Krille" Andren is equally very talented, with powerful, mid-range vocals. No high-pitched singing a la Labrie, rather some parallels with Russel Allen. Ambiance background sounds (howling wind, falling rain, etc.) are added to round up the overall concept, which narrates the story of a wanderer in the typical heroic fantasy style. The theme is besides emphasized by the old Norse runes (Wuthering Heights logo depicted by the runes "WH" in Futhark - the runic alphabet) and the elven letters on the back cover (borrowed from Tolkien). The production is also flawless. The only disapppintment: it's too short ! (total time only 47:37). For those of you who haven't heard of that album yet: DON'T MISS IT!!!

Glenn H. - Perpetual Motion Board - Internet Conference Board - USA
Wuthering Heights may just prove to be one of the surprise hits of the upcoming year. It falls into the Rhapsody/Labyrinth/Angra speedy & symphonic style of metal, but it also takes off into uncharted territory as well. Brief overview: a. Songs: This is the first of a projected concept trilogy. However, I really don't understand it completely since I don't have any lyrics. I will say that it is NOT the epic fantasy concept you make expect. At least, I don't think so anyway. b.Vocals: Kristian "Krille" Andren - best known as the vocalist for Tad Morose, Memento Mori, and Fifth Reason. Good mid-range tone with depth, feeling, and power. Rarely, does he go for the nut-busting shriek. He stays within this is range nicely. c.Musicianship: Outstanding. More details in the song reviews. d. Production: Not a single gripe here. Final comments: This is a no-brainer for Rhapsody and Labyrinth fans. I will be completely honest and say that I enjoyed it more than either of those two's latest discs. Don't get me wrong, as I love both SoEL and RtHD. The vocals are better on those discs. The orchestration/production is better on Rhapsody. The melodic choruses are better with Labyrinth. So how can I like "Within" better? While not as good as those previously mentioned individual elements, the whole flows better. It's more lush, atmospheric, and darker. It's the first time a speedy neo-classical band didn't come off as a bit fluffy (think Rhapsody's pompous chorus). The guys take chances. Grade: A

Chris "Dweeb" Mitchell - PERPETUAL MOTION BOARD - Internet Conference Board - USA
I have never in my life missed the boat as badly as I have on this disc. I first heard it as a CD-R last year, and the production was so murky I couldn’t tell whether I really liked it or not. I could tell it was melodic and neo-classical influenced with an awesome singer, but not much more. Well I heard the real CD when I was down visiting Glenn’s wife (I had to hang out with Glenn some, too, you know, to throw him off track a little - I bought him a few comic books and it was *smooth* sailing after that), and it sounded nothing like my CD-R, so I finally got around to ordering it from the Great and Glorious Golden One, and got it a week or so ago. In a word, I haven’t enjoyed a CD this much in years, it’s just incredible, even after about 10 listens I still get chills. All the ingredients are well-known: heavy, melodic, even catchy at times, neo-classically-influenced prog metal, heavy, epic, soaring, smooth as silk, but somehow it transcends all these influences to be so much greater than its parts - this sounds silly even to me, and I have waited quite a while to post my thoughts because I thought I would get over the initial euphoria (hysteria?), settle down, and just like it, but that’s not happening - it just gets better and better, it seems without end. What is it about this CD that is so compelling? The songs are incredibly well-written, mostly fast and neo-classical but not a shred-fest, still lots of slower, very emotional passages, but somehow they connect with me in a way that almost no other CD ever has - I feel it very deeply but am struggling to put it into words. A big part of it, no doubt, is the vocal performance, Kristian Andren has delivered a performance of such power and soaring beauty and shear emotive power that I stand in mute awe, just incredible.

Lars Lolk Christensen - METALIZED - Magazine - Denmark - 9 out of 10 points
Although the Wuthering Heights debut album have been years underway, it in all ways lives up to my expectations. The band plays a superb hybrid of progressive metal and power metal, which expresses itself in the technical guitar intermezzo's, the baroque keyboard inputs and the medieval inspired flute- and violin-passages. Wuthering Heights have incorporated Swedish vocalist Kristian Andrén (Memento Mori/Tad Morose), but I don't feel his voice fits this genre 100% and would therefore wish for another style of vocalist (however, not one of those typical power metal vocalists!). The production should also have been better, since a lot of the cool details in the music gets lost. The music is really ultra-complex, which gives an unique charm to it, by marking the band's identity, but also makes it complicated and difficult to get into. You need a lot of time and effort to get into the musical concept, which on the other hand clearly shows, that it's very skilled musicians at play here. Nothing about this album, hasn't been thoughtfully written and worked-through - a must for all Danish metal lovers.

Johnny Angelund - METAL CLUB - Magazine - Norway - 90 out of 100 points
Wuthering Heights are a Danish/Swedish power metal act. The lead vocalist in the band is one of my favorite vocalists in Scandinavia, namely mr. Kristian "Krille" Andren, who have been doing the vocals in Tad Morose, Memento Mori and Fifth Reason. Wuthering Heights have a brilliant sound, they mix a lot of keyboards, violin and a lot of great guitar parts, and not least a wonderful vocal. I really can say that I love every part of this album - it is great to see that Scandinavia also can deliver high quality power metal. Highly recommended to people who like Blind Guardian, Angra and Rhapsody.

Chris Kallias - METAL REVIEWS - Webzine - Switzerland - 84 out of 100 points
I'm late on this one but this CD deserve to be reviewed !!! And guess what ? This CD is full of surprises... The overall is pretty convincing and very promising for the future ! But enough with generalities, the album has a good sound, and is nicely mixed as well. Arrangements could however be smoother, sometimes the music jumps from a tempo to another kinda strangely. But the more I listen to it the less it bothers me and the more I'm getting addicted to this album and this band. The music is definitely melodic all the way, from the first track to the last, sounding sometimes like Symphony X, but not as heavy (probably because of the singer's voice). Songs are quiet different one from another and some are simply amazing...like Dreamwalker, the fifth song of this record, which last 13 minutes and is unbelievable... So many different atmospheres and instruments during that song !!! I think the last time I heard such a great prog. song was when I first listened to Metropolis from Dream Theater. Many instruments you don't usually hear in heavy metal are present, and I would not try to count them all (even if some are probably coming from a keyboard... but who cares ???), and the usual violins and piano are here but they are used differently than Symphony X or Rhapsody uses them. The singer is also interesting... he can sing different styles and his voice is smooth and goes well with the music (he reminds me of an old Malmsteen singer). Even though the overall is excellent I think there are some improvements to be done on the voice and on musical arrangements, but with such talent I'm not worried at all for them ! So in the end this is a very good surprise, and it's about time that we find a really original band with their own sound ! So for all people that loves symphonic metal and nice progressive songs this one is for you and you're not going to be disappointed. Two thumbs up guys !! Killing Songs : Dreamwalker is a damn good song !!!

Ralf Henn - UNDERGROUND EMPIRE - Webzine - Germany - 17 out of 20 points
A really cool Fantasy-cover sharpens my interest, and as expected the CD contains first-class quality music. Epic, melodic metal with powerful singing and a progressive touch. No "tralalala "-refrains a la Hammerfall or Stratovarius, but instead well-thoughtout, interesting tracks is what can be found on this debut album. An old "friend" is vocalist Kristian Krille Andren, who a lot of us knows as the ex-vocalist of Tad Morose. Wuthering Heights have named themselves after an old Kate Bush song, originates from Denmark, but are a bit more progressive and better musicians, and therefore appeals more to me than Tad Morose ; these 6 songs (plus intro) are truely fantastic and timeless. The 14minute long mammut-song "Dreamwalker" alone, will have to be from another world, and includes really superb ideas inclusive furious slasa/latino parts in the mid-section. For those who have a problem with the word "progressive", will not have to worry a bit about this, as Wuthering Heights ain't exactly one of the show-off bands, more relies on tempi-variation and the use of breaks. As the production is among the best, I can honestly only give this masterpiece my best recommendation.

Tajs - REVELATION Z - webzine - Denmark - 8 out of 10 points
The Danish band Wuthering Heights was founded in the beginning of the nineties and issued some demos under the names Minas Tirith and Vergelmir but their first real album Within didn't come out until 1999. Only musician left from the original lineup is guitarist Erik Ravn. Their latest cd, To Travel For Evermore, is a cd that doesn't quite sound like anything else. It is progressive metal but with a sound that isn't like any other band. They have the time-changes, the great solos, an amazing singer and the tight, tight rythm section. But the sound is their own, which is a very good thing. The best description I can give is progressive metal with folk music inspiration because that's the feeling I get when I listen to this cd. It's not that they have complete breaks with violins and those accordians folk musicians tend to use here in Denmark, no they incorporate it in the guitar-melodies and keyboards. A very nice touch! Another influence I have found is in the intro to "The Nevershining stones" which has an acoustic guitar rythm that sounds very flamenco-ish. Not very long but it adds a unique touch to the sound. Very nice. I find that Wuthering Heights has a good ear for melodies. Both the vocals and all other things in a band capable of playing a melody do so. Especially the guitars and keyboards have a lot of very melodic melodies but they are not just simple melodies; they take some time to pick up. It's a cd that will grow on the listener as she picks up all the small pieces that create this cd. This is a good and less good thing at the same time. It's definitely too complex for some people. There are so many parts that it takes a lot of time to digest the whole cd. It is, however, not technical metal. It's too melodic for that even though there are parts that are very progressive. One thing I noticed quite early was the drum sound. Drummer Morten Sørensen knows what he is doing but the drum sound is a little muddy. I'm no drummer but there is something in the drums that sounds different. Guess that's part of what gives To Travel For Evermore it's unique sound. Wuthering Heights has put together a quite a complex little cd here. It's a cd that has both staying and growing power. I still pick up new things when I listen to it. I like how the time-changes feel natural; that's something not all prog metal bands master. I like the folk music inspiration which adds a very nice touch (I don't know if anybody else will hear this in their music but that's the best way I can describe it). I like Kristian Andrén's voice: he has a very strong, and in some way, raw voice. For their next cd I think they can get a better production. On To Travel For Evermore, the sound is good but nothing stellar. Wuthering Heights definitely has potential to be with the top prog metal bands around so let's hope the record company, Intromental, realises this. I'd certainly love to see them play live! I'm giving To Travel For Evermore a strong 8 since it has really grown on me lately. I'm sure I will put on this cd again and again for a long time. Well done Wuthering Heights! Favorite lyric part: "My name is Mankiiiiiiiiiiiiiind" in the end of "A Sinner's Confession".

Erik Welty - METALLIC SYMPHONIES - Webzine - USA
Rhapsody is going to be the obvious comparison that most people make when describing the sound of Wuthering Heights. However, this is no clone of Rhapsody. They may use fantasy themes in the lyrics combined with some speedy neo-classical guitar work, but the comparison should end there. Wuthering Heights suprised me with some great symphonic arrangements and a diversity of sound that belies the fantasy nature of the music. My love for Tad Morose gets me excited every time I see Kristian Andren show up on a new project. His vocals add instant class to the band that he fronts. In this case, he's in front of a very talented band. The guitar work is a great blend of neo-classical speed and modern power. The rhythm foundation sounds great behind both the speed and the symphonic movements. That brings me to the keys. This guy does some of the smoothest symphonic work that I've heard from a contemporary metal keyboardist. Musically, I expected to be overwhelmed by cheesy lyrics. Instead, I found myself caught up in some very nicely composed music. The symphonic sections are haunting while the metal work is quite catchy. I think that a lot of people are going to be surprised by the quality of this disc. It avoids the cliche of the fantasy genre and is held up strongly by the instrumentation and some great vocals.

Wuthering Heights- GodDAMN this is the most awesome freakin' thing in the world!! OK, not really, but it's right up there with perfect pepperoni on a pizza, gridlock free commutes, and having nice clean bums asking you for change as you leave your apartment building. It's THAT good. I keep thinking 'Rhapsody meets Amorphis' but that's not right, this isn't over the top cheese AT ALL (mind you, I think Rhapsody is GOOD cheese...) and the Amorphis isn't right either, but I go more by the 'feel of the sound of a band' than actual sound itself, if that makes any sense. Kristian Andren's got these vocal melodies from Mars sometimes, but then he just hits it PERFECT, like it was born to be that way, and all is right with the world. The interplay of the instruments during Sorrow in Memoriam's lead wankbreak (and to clarify, I think the new Dream Theater is ALL wankbreak, and I LIKE wankbreaks) just simply NEEDS to be heard. Combine that with the lyrics there that frankly after this most shitty HORRID of weekends I needed to hear... that song became the base of my listening to the rest of the CD, and I can't find a fault with it. Not a one. Shit. I mean, DAMN. I admit it, I read the press release and whenever I see 'Rhapsody, Blind Guardian', etc (and Angra was mentioned too), I think 'Oh great, some wankers trying to be kings again...' and I saw some stuff where people said this was BETTER... I'm thinking 'no WAY'... well... I must say that this CD is going to set my zine back a week because I spent every available moment listening to it instead of writing reviews, listening to other CDs I have to review, and transcribing Manticora, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Tim Aymar interviews I just did. I didn't do a freakin' thing except listen to this CD. Really. Well, I went to a show, got hugged by the Twirlygirl (WOO HOO! Who says 2 full years of psychotic obsession doesn't pay off?), got the evil 'I like you as a friend' (translated: 'You are an ooky ball of slime and I don't want you touching me... EVER') from the person I've REALLY found to be PERFECT the past 5 months (people fucking SUCK and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!) and... oh. Er, sorry. I'm not bitter or anything. But in between all that all I did was listen to this CD. And sleep, but I had the CD player on repeat so even then I was listening to this. Anyway, as off the point as I've gotten, if progressive, intelligent, powerful metal is your thing (and if you're on this board, why would it not be?) then you could do worse... I mean a LOT fucking worse, than picking this one up IMMEDIATELY and quitting your job and just listen to this forever more...

Matt Coe - SNAKEPIT - Magazine - Intl.
Symphonic/Melodic Metal bands normally reign supreme in Germany and Italy - but this quintet from Denmark prove on "Within" that you have a serious contender in the BLIND GUARDIAN/LABYRINTH class of originality. This 7 song/48 min journey represents the 1st part of a trilogy from the leader of this band guitarist Erik Ravn about a lonely man dealing with the search for something more than a typical life. Musically WUTHERING HEIGHTS can throw 10-15 different sounds at a time, building to crescendos and swiftly moving into quieter, more primitive acoustic laden passages, while vocalist Kristian Andren (of TAD MOROSE/MEMENTO MORI fame) sings with a melodic clarity that instantly catches your attention. Sure some band names will come to mind like ANGRA and the aforementioned BG - but WUTHERING HEIGHTS also add a guitar harmonic edge in songs like "Hunter In The Dark" and "Too Great Thy Gift" that recalls classic "Piece Of Mind"-time IRON MAIDEN, as well as folkish moments during the epic 13 min + "Dreamwalker" that SKYCLAD fans relish. I believe "Within" is a great album that can and will be bettered though - as this material has been rewritten and refined over the past 5 years, which leads me to believe Erik Ravn and WUTHERING HEIGHTS have more in store to complete the trilogy. Great punchy production from studiomaster Jacob Hansen, stellar performances, and a knack for making a melodious album full of little nuances to discover time and again- "Within" sparkles as evidence that Symphonic Metal shines brightly in 1999 and beyond. Incredible -captivating- album of the year candidate for sure!

Matthew Braymiller - SSMT Webzine - USA
Take one part Symphony X, add a part or two of Blind Guardian and a healthy dose of Angra, allow to simmer for a while and you’ll have Wuthering Heights. The debut disc from this Scandinavian progressive metal band has a lot to offer fans. The symphonic elements of Symphony X are there. The speed of Blind Guardian is there. The classical elements of Angra are there. When this is combined, it creates a big atmosphere of progressive metal that invites you to stay and listen. I’d place them somewhere on the shelf between Evergrey and Dream Theater for atmosphere, content and overall sound. The band features some great talent. Most notable, perhaps, is vocalist Kristian “Krille” Andrén formerly of Tad Morose. The technical aspects of the play are exceptional. There is a great deal of music going on in this disc and thanks to the excellent production at Sensory, it is crisp and clear. The music features the changes of tempo and direction that define the parameters of progressive metal. The lyrics are intelligent and well written. The lyricist lists J. R. R. Tolkien among those to whom he owes a debt of thanks. However, this is not your typical overblown “Tolkien metal” disc. No mighty heroes or chanting Vikings slaying dragons or pillaging villages here. These are the songs of a wanderer looking back on the road he has traveled and forward to where he may yet go. Rather than stay safely within the conventions of progressive metal, Wuthering Heights pull out the stops and go all out on this disc throwing in as many nice surprises as they can without making it seem overloaded. The band has a large rich sound making this debut disc a prized find. The songs are long and intricate. "Dreamwalker" tops the list at over thirteen minutes and not a one of them boring. This is a disc that will cause you to hit repeat rather than skip. I look forward to what they may release in the future. You can’t go wrong with this disc.

John ”Bo Bo” Bollenberg - PROGRESSIVE WORLD - Webzine - Intl.
The Danish combo Wuthering Heights puts itself on the same wavelength as Angra, Stratovarius and Rhapsody with their album Within, so do expect a fair amount of neo-classical influences, speed metal and bombastic progressive rock "pur sang." Within is the first part of a huge trilogy that deals with the inner thoughts and dreams of a lonely man. Supplemented with flute and violin, the whole package gets a pleasant and complete label pinned up taking us towards a big medieval influence. In "Enter The Cave" I do hear the sound of Björn Johansson before the rhythm removes all possible doubts. By means of authentic violin "Sorrow In Memoriam" has to be one of the better songs on this disc. Especially the many changes in rhythm and tempo extra emphasize the atmosphere which is synonym for this kind of epic. During "Dreamwalker" the band really leaves all conventional appointments whilst all styles are thrown together. They even include some salsa, an element which certainly can cause a stir during live gigs. This rhythm then changes towards classical guitar before a clavinet emphasizes the classical influences. Without any doubt one of the strongest Sensory releases.

JESTER'S NEWS - Magazine - Germany
What the F*** - with Scandinavian band Wuthering Heights another real highlight in the metal scene is ready for a future which most definitely is going to make big waves all over the place. Wuthering Heights combines symphonic metal elements (a la Symphony X) with bombastic speed (Blind Guardian) and orchestral and neo-classical inputs (Rhapsody and Angra...), and if that wasn't enough, the guys have even succeeded in incorporating a big amount of progressive metal, that fits like a hand in glove to the overall-compositions. The technical capacities of the performing musicians are "over the top" and could easily be compared to the class of t.ex. Symphony X. So far, so good ... but on "Within" we also find a diversity that makes the album to a crescendo of musicality that you as good as never experience anywhere else. Getting bored listening to "Within" is impossible - this album impresses with each played note, and all who likes melodic progressive bombast metal will definitely get their demands met from this release. For a highlight on the album, I would have hard to choose between all the songs, but the ultimate top-hits would have to be "Sorrow In Memoriam" and "Dreamwalker", that also are the two longest tracks on "Within". Without overdoing it, I would be forced to say that "Within" is the best Symphony X album since "The Divine Wings Of Tragedy" ... :0) Who likes this kind of music, yet still haven't bought this release will only have himself to blame.

FRENCH CONNECTION - Webzine - France
Sensory is an incredible company. Each time, they achieve to discover surprising bands. Wuthering Heights (a title track of Kate Bush, covered by Angra) is one of them. The album starts after a long intro with a speed metal song, close to Gamma Ray or Angra. The debut riff is truly amazing. Wuthering Heights plays high energy metal. But the speed part of their music is also enrichened by softer parts, that includes various instruments such as Violin and Flute. So, it’s impossible to stay insensible facing the top quality music composed by Wuthering Heights. With awesome riffs, tons of lyrical melodies, thousands of excellent ideas, « within » is a real discovery. The best definition for their music is maybe subtle melodic speed metal. I must admit that this album totally convinces me. If you want to hear really powerful melodic music, this is the band you need. Wuthering Heights is now ready to conquer the metal planet. Be prepared for « Within » !

David White - OPEN UP AND SAY... - Webzine - USA - 4 out of 5 points
Wuthering Heights was one of the hot bands near the end of 1999 with lots of great reviews before the disc was available to the public. Most of the time this leads to disappointment when the disc fails to live up to expectations. This is one of those rare times, however, when a disc actually lives up to its pre-release build-up. Many people compare Wuthering Heights to Rhapsody. I think this comparison is way off. Yes, Wuthering Heights has some classical instruments, like flutes, but they are very much in the background compared to a band like Rhapsody which features them. Also the melodies are completely different. Whereas Rhapsody has huge, obviously classically influenced melodies, Wuthering Heights' melodies, while very warm, are much more standard rock melodies. Any description of this disc has to begin with the songwriting and the musicianship. Both are top notch, although the songwriting takes a slight negative hit because the disc has a sameness feeling throughout. If you start the disc at any point, it would be very difficult to know which track you are on. That said, the songwriting is very good. It has a very warm feeling and has many time changes which keep things interesting. There are no long instrumentals, but many shorter instrumental breaks. The sound is heavy at times, lighter at other times. There are some very soft acoustic parts, but there are also some very heavy crunching guitar parts. The musicianship is excellent throughout; although, the instruments aren't given as much opportunity to shine as they are on some other discs. Singer Kristian Andren is the star here, with excellent, powerful vocals. As with the instruments, he stays very much within the band concept, never stepping out to draw attention to himself. His voice is mid-range and very pleasant to listen to. While there is a very consistent feel among the songs, the standouts are "Too Great Thy Gift" and the almost fourteen minute centerpiece track, entitled "Dreamwalker." This is a highly enjoyable disc. The melodies aren't spectacular, but they are effective and warm. The songwriting is interesting; although, the songs merge together a little too much. The musicianship and production are both excellent. Overall, this is just a flat out good disc in which all the pieces make the whole much better than the sum of the individual parts.

Mark Frostnäs - SWEDEN ROCK - Magazine - Sweden - 8 out of 10 points
Already back in Bright Eyes #2 did I review this album. Back then it had an awful production. Also back then, the band were in a lot of trouble with their old record label, and if I'm not remembering this the wrong way, I wrote something along the lines of : "...I hope the band will find a new vocalist and reocrd the album all over again...". So what happens then ??? Yepp, exactly what I'd hoped for. These Danish guys have recruited Kristian Andrén (ex-Tad Morose, ex-Memento Mori, Fifth Reason) on vocals, which pulls up the level of the music alot. I've always thought that Kristian had a good voice, but pretty basic, however I'll make the assumption that "Within" is the best piece of work he's ever done! Otherwise, the rest of the music is like on the first version. Do you like the first two albums of Angra, deletes the "german" influences from Rhapsody and adds parts of the folk-stuff from Skyclad, you'll get a pretty good picture of how this sounds. Definitely a very promising debut album. Too bad that the band didn't release the band those three years ago when it was first done. Then they'd been the founders of this genre instead of being looked upon as one of the band-wagon-jumpers.

Bruno Van De Velde - UNDERTOW - Webzine - Belgium - 8 out of 10 points
Wuthering Heights is another talented Scandinavian band. They are based in Copenhagen, Denmark and on vocals we find the Swedish singer Kristian 'Krille' Andrén (Tad Morose, Memento Mori & Fifth reason). The band has been around since the beginning of the nineties, but from those early struggles only guitarist Erik Ravn remains in the current line up. The band plays epic, progressive power metal. The band operates in the same area as bands like Symphony X, Angra, Rhapsody and other symphonic sounding bands. Although Wuthering Heights is a less heavy and epic than most of these bands. Their sound is more calm, with great melody lines and it never gets cheesy or over the top. The songs are however full of rhythm changes, and the song structures are irregular. Kristian is a vocalist with a wide powerful range and he delivers pretty much all of his vocal lines in the mid range area. Which is a nice alternative to the high pitched soaring vocals that are used mostly in this kind of music. "Within" is the first part of a trilogy so we can expect much more of this talented outfit.

Dylan R.Hopkin - BARCODE - Webzine - Norway - 3½ out of 5 points
The first time I heard WH was when I received the first recording of “Within”. This version was only a demo, the sound production was a catastrophe, but I could definitively hear that Erik Ravn (guitarist and songwriter) had something good brewing. A couple of years went, WH landed a deal with the respectable prog-label Sensory. “Within” was re-recorded, a new singer (Kristian “Krille” Andrén, ex. Tad Morose, Memento Mori ) was recruited and the result is a very interesting mix of traditional speed metal (old Helloween, Blind Guardian etc style), Irish folk music and a slight progressive touch. The biography that accompanied the CD states that WH are, quote: “…….over the top progressive”. I don’t agree, Spiral Architect fit that description, not WH. Jacob Hansen has engineered and produced “Within”. The overall production is ok, but the guitar sound is a bit “dead”, maybe the bass could have been more up front. The vocal sound is first class! OK. Now let’s concentrate on the music. The CD is a concept-album, the first part of a trilogy written by Erik Ravn. It tells the story of the inner thoughts and dreams of a lonely man, searching for something beyond his simple life. The lyrics portray this through out the composition. Each song contains a wide range of styles. Up tempo heavy riffing, ethnic flute and violin lines, acoustic passages and brilliant vocal performances. The actual song structures are quite complex, it takes a while to “dig in”. My overall impression is very positive. Since I’m an old Helloween-fan, some of the melodies really bring back memories from the “Walls of Jericho” days. The only thing that I'm not too pleased about is Erik Ravn's performance on the guitar. His playing confirms my impression from their live performance at the Ørestads Festival 1999 in Copenhagen. He is a excellent songwriter, but some of the stuff he tries to "pull-off" on his guitar doesn’t always work. His timing is sloppy , and there is a lack of "credibility" when playing solos..............the parts where the guitar lead the way tend to "fall through" due to not being able to keep up a steady beat. I recommend that he should review his own playing, and rewrite the passages that are too difficult for him to play, or look for an additional guitar player for the band. Deal with it please! I’ll most probably piss off some people passing this harsh judgment, but I’m only being honest. Mr. Ravn can play guitar, but he must learn where his limitations lay. Enough said. The rest of the band, (Rune S. Brink - keyboard, Kasper Gram - bass and Morten Nødgaard - Drums), form a rock steady formation that deliver musicianship that they should be proud of. Fabulous work guys! These guys saves the CD! The best song is “Dreamwalker”, a 14 minute masterpiece offering all you could wish to hear………..the composition is great. Filled with unforgettable melodies. If you are a die-hard fan of bands like Blind Guardian, Angra, Helloween and Rhapsody you MUST buy this CD, don’t even hesitate! By the way……3,5 points is a good score.

Leif Kringen - SCREAM - Magazine - Norway - 4 out of 6 points
Melodic speed metal mixed with folk and classical music is what the Danes in Wuthering Heights are providing. The songs have overall strong melodies and have lots of interesting details. An example is the violin in "Sorrow In Memoriam", really tasteful! The band isn't too far away from the German and Italian styles of Metal, but have actually found pretty much their own niché. The album starts of really good, but is falling down a bit at the end. Especially the last two songs are too anonymous. Kristian "Krille" Andrén has never been amongst my favorite vocalists, but here he does an okay job. He stays at what he does best, and don't stray away from that.

Martin Kvam - METAL SHUFFLE - Magazine - Norway - 4 out of 6 points
No - this isn't Kate Bush going METAL! Instead this is the Danish guitar-hero Erik Ravn teaming up with a bunch of equally-minded people, a.o. Kristian Andrén (Tad Morose, Memento Mori, Fifth Reason), and together they've created a fine symphonic power metal album. A couple of progressive parts has been thrown in adding a spicing effect, plus some inspiration from folk and classical music. The music is really well-performed and is pompous as Hell, and even though the clichees are manyfold, it never becomes emberrassing.

IRON PAGES - Magazine - Germany
Da könnte man dann fast WUTHERING HEIGHTS besuchené. Aber nur fast, denn die sind doch schon zu erwachsen. Eine kleine einfache Seele haben sie sich dennoch bewahrt. Der Symphonic Speed Metal verfügt aber über einen vernünftigen Sänger, was schon mal recht vorteilhaft ist. Der bombastische Sound verkleistert geschickt die mangelnden Ideen der Band. Offenbar wird dies, wenn man die CD fertig gehört hat und sich partout an nichts großartig erinnert. Da nützt alles Schöngespiele nichts und wenn hitverdächtige, ohrwurmatige Melodien auftauchen, werden diese konsequent ihrer Wirkung durch endlos lange Songs mit zehntausend Breaks beraubt. Ist also irgendwo kein Wunder, daß ausgerechnet ein Prog-Label bei den Dänen zugegriffen hat und »Within« veröffentlichte. Die Stärke der Band liegt sicher im Moment des Hörens der Kompositionen.

Gustaf Höök - CLOSE-UP - Magazine - Sweden
Sometimes debuting bands can be very laid-back and wouldn't dare to take chances, and this actually pretty understandable. Escaping from putting their wings at test, is somehow worth it all instead of taking the risk of falling. But not in the case of Wuthering Heights. From their beginning as a symphonic speed metal band, the Danes have now moved towards the pompeous and are now foundated somewhere between the giants Dream Theater and the hot-shots Angra and Rhapsody.Any real rip-off this isn't, although the guitars in the more fast sections reminds me not so little of Helloween. No, Wuthering Heights instead tries to combine an amount of unequal inspirations, and especially in the two longest tracks on display - "Sorrow in Memoriam" and "Dreamwalker". Here you'll find a combination of speed anf power with progressive Rush-reminding vibes, weird percussion parts, celtic and nordic folk-inspirations, flute, acoustic guitars and keyboards. Uneven tempi and atmospheres intertwine each others, and the multi-coloured facette is enhanced by singer Kristian Andrén (Tad Morose, Memento Mori, Fifth Reason). "Krille" delievers yet another beautiful performance here. Very ambitious and varied, and this is exactly what shines through and shows that "Within" is a debut album. In comparison with the big names of this genre, Wuthering Heights doesn't really succeed in keeping the music bonded and create the all-important flow. Besides, I would have liked some more "hooks". It actually comes down less to the fact that Wuthering Heights haven't found their own style yet, than the fact they still can't live out all their visions. I hope they will continue down this road - rather see something interesting and daring than something mediocre within the over-crowded power metal genre.

Fabrice Lefevbre - DARK WAVE - Webzine - France - 6½ out of 10 points
Band formed by the famous guitarist from Denmark Erik Ravn with the help of Kristian Andren (Memento Mori, Tad Morose), Wuthering Heights releases a first full CD that is really good with really interesting things. The stuff is between heavy and speed-metal with symphonic touches, so imagine Angra mixed with Blind Guardian and Tad Morose (for sure). Traditional heavy / speed-metal, maybe we could think this but the use of original instruments such flute or violin and featuring many famous persons, it is really diversified by this way. A good CD, heavy and speed-metal, maybe not really original for the main musical way but with a good technicality.

LEDO TAKAS - Magazine - Lithuania
Remember that eerie Kate Bush song? Or at least it's cover done by Ataraxia? well, should know that melodramatic flick by no means, but take notice that Danish rockers are much heavier and groovier than that, but the magic is still with them like the band name suggests. They have been around heavy music for quite a while, inlay photos reveal their solid age (comparing to the most of teenage musicians, or "musicians" who fail to take the metal world by storm with the help of pseudo labels around). It seems to me that Danish Intromental Management have intensified it's activities, since it's their second promoted band (after Behind The Curtain) signed to Sensory. Sort of Scandinavian invasion into the land of the dollar?? Ok, no more belles-lettres, time to tell you that Wuthering Heights play a diverse metal music, including elements of speed, heavy, power and progressive metal into one ball of running force. If it sounds a bit too much for one record, then I suggest to get into their music, which needs time, as any other album dealing with progressive character. They have no troubles upbringing the epic feel to it, but they can easily turn into folk stream of sounds, with addition of session fluteis and violinist. It is definitely their plus, not minus. They have also recruited a pretty famous progressive metal singer, Kristian "Krille" Andrén (Tad Morose, Memento Mori, Fifth Reason) to take over lead vocals, so the innovative compositions are firmly led by a majestic and strong voice. I feel so fine about their record since it has enough power, unlike other newcomers lack thereof, in progressive music. Probably more metal, more easily understood, but also more impressive in my opinion. Do not pass by the fantasy type of artwork by Kristian Wahlin, aka Necrolord, strange that press sheeo praises him just for the fantasy are he has done in the past - he is much more evil in general, hehe :0) Ok, nothing to complain about - good album.

Torben Askholm - METAL & HARD ROCK AREA - Webzine - Intl. - 6 out of 10 points
These guys are surely having a hard time convincing me as being a serious contender to the first division of symphonic speed metal! OK to be fair this style never really succeeded in catching my attention since it was way too "happy" (tra-la-la) for my taste, but here and there bits and pieces of grandiose power impresses me (I even heard some Kansas inspiration). Fronted by renowned Swedish singer Kristian Andrén(sounds a bit shaky at times) and mastermind Erik Ravn on guitar Wuthering Heights have a firm grip on where they are heading with complex patterns, folkish interludes, keyboard layers soon turning into full frontal aggression not unlike German counterparts Blind Guardian. Ravn's tone is somewhat shrill (Blackmore springs to mind) and he's definitely not a guitar hero, though I think that shouldn't be a problem since he's a quite decent composer if you're into this kind of thing. Overall these Danish Melodic Prog Speedsters are sounding more German than Danish, furthermore Andrén's slight Swedish accent adds this Scandinavian flavour which just might spark a breakthrough into international territory. Fans of Blind Guardian or melodic speed with a twist should give this one a spin.