There are several points on Windhand's third full-length, Grief's Infernal Flower - most notably on "Hesperus" and "Kingfisher," which fall back-to-back near the end of the album and clock in at a combined runtime of 28-plus minutes - where the band members lock into a hypnotic, sludgy groove that can have a trancelike effect on listeners, allowing them to lose touch with both space and time.

There are several points on Windhand's third full-length, Grief's Infernal Flower - most notably on "Hesperus" and "Kingfisher," which fall back-to-back near the end of the album and clock in at a combined runtime of 28-plus minutes - where the band members lock into a hypnotic, sludgy groove that can have a trancelike effect on listeners, allowing them to lose touch with both space and time.

"I was just reading this book in the van by Carl Sagan called 'The Dragons of Eden,' and in it he talks about how tribal music was one of the first forms of magic because the repetitive tribal beat made everybody's heartbeat and breathing kind of get into synch," said singer Dorthia Cottrell, who will join her bandmates for a transportive concert at Ace of Cups on Wednesday, Nov. 11. "When we practice, sometimes [a song will] go one for more than 30 minutes. It's a relaxing, zenned-out mediation thing."

Against this heavy, droning backdrop, Cottrell exorcises some of her deepest fears - namely of death - a specter that continues to haunt her long after she closes her eyes at night. "When I sleep, I dream of death," she sings on "Sparrow," a sparse, acoustic number that unfolds like a particularly foreboding lullaby.

"It's not all about death, but most of it definitely is," said Cottrell, whose fascination with the subject dates back to childhood (in a previous interview the singer recalled being 4 or 5 years old and making up a song about everyone in her family dying). "I have a neurotic fear of it; it's something that's always in the back of my mind. I guess I'm just a morbid person."

While Windhand's music tends to conjure towering storm clouds, Cottrell said the sessions, which stretched over two weeks in producer Jack Endino's (Nirvana, High on Fire) Seattle studio, were accompanied by a glorious stretch of sunny, 70-degree days. This warmth is occasionally reflected in Cottrell's vocal melodies, which are both prettier and higher in the mix than on past records, where it sometimes sounded as though she were being consumed by the surrounding din.

"When we were recording by ourselves we wanted it to sound like how we sound live. Back in those days we were playing tiny little bars … and the music was so loud it was always a struggle for me to be heard over top of it, so that's how we recorded," she said. "Now we're playing slightly bigger places and you can hear me for once, so we decided to push the vocals up a little more this time."