The first notes of opening number “Ins Fremde” tell us clearly this band has made a step forward with this their second release. Despite the elements portrayed in their debut CD that are still here alive and kicking, and no significant renewal has taken place in the sonic body of Weidenbaum, the overall impression caused by Raue Winde und blasse Schwingen is better than its predecessor. Several details have been more worked on so one could define this opus as a sign of mature progression without a doubt. For instance, “Auf Blassen Schwingen” portrays a huge improvement in clean vocals. “Der Ruf Der Schwingen” is an epic tune where neofolkish lines also shine convincingly, too. The balance between the different types of vocals is more consistent this time, definitely. Acoustic guitars are now mightier than before and there are more evocative atmospheres. The Dornenreich feeling is less evident; Lirtes is paving the way escaping from easily noticeable influences, providing their creations with more variety, and that's a good thing. Still a certain amount of riffs are too simple and easy, although Raue Winde Und Blasse Schwingen is less predictable than the debut album and the structures are more appealing to the ear. Everything flows more naturally, the tempo changes are managed with more sense and the songmaking is juicier. As a band trademark, the album is again closed with a bombastic orchestral medley where a different vision of the songs can be appreciated: a nice addition where the dark motifs are wearing the classical tux, conforming gloomy epic textures seldom seen in black metal albums with this dress. This is only another echelon in the progression of the band and some achievements here and there have been done. The fact Weidenbaum have published two albums in the last two years points out the huge musical activity of this guy, so laziness is not a menace in this case. Let inspiration do the rest, Weidenbaum is on the right path to make something really crushing in the next releases.