Thursday, December 4, 2014

Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity

There are a few bands in metal that bring their “A” game every time.  Although they are not very well known here in the US, this is definitely one of them.  A lack of touring on this side of the pond has helped this band keep a low profile, but with this album, their 4th, it will be harder and harder for fans of quality metal to ignore them.  If you dig black metal, this is your jam.

Black metal is my favorite metal sub-genre and Winterfylleth is one of my favorite bands.  Along with bands like Falls Of Rauros, Wodensthrone, and Wolves In The Throne Room, they play a very anthemic, driving style of black metal and I love it.  Another cool thing about this band is that they are steeped in the history of England and their music reflects their love of this history and their homeland.  Although the lyrics are hard to understand while sung, if you can get a hold of a lyric sheet you can learn a little bit as well.

The recording of this album is top notch.  All the instruments are clear and balanced in the mix and the vocals have the right amount of frostiness to suit the genre.  If you listen to this album, do so with headphones and check out the interplay between the guitars.  There is some very cool stuff going on with these guitar players and there are all kinds of little complementary things going on throughout the album.  Their drummer is always on point and probably the best drummer in black metal today.  He brings it every time.

As far as songs, the masterpiece on this album is the 4th track, “A Careworn Heart”.  It starts out with a beautiful acoustic passage that lasts about 90 seconds, and then the band kicks it.  But it is a little slower than the previous tracks, and you can feel that the band is pulling back a little.  That restraint allows them to show off what they can do.  Not just the driving, epic type of songs but something with a little delicacy and soulfulness to it.  It's a great track with some great melodies and musicianship and one of the best songs I've heard all year.

The two tracks that follow, “Foundations Of Ash” and “The World Ahead” are further testament to what this band can do.  “Foundations” is just a crushing riff and shows that this band can get really heavy if they want to, while “World” is a quiet, reflective, acoustic number that again sets this band apart from many of their peers.

It's important to distinguish yourself when you are a band trying to make your way in today's music environment.  Winterfylleth certainly do that and I hope that many more metal fans will take notice of this release, and that the band can actually do some shows here in the US.  They deserve to be heard and you deserve to listen to high quality metal such as this.


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