Title: Lycanthropic Metal of Death
Label: Svart Records
Release date: 14 June 2019
Format reviewed: Digital Promo
Metalheads are not the only animals that roam the northern forests of the world. WINTERWOLF are back and they are ready to go for the throat. After a ten year break between albums, these Finnish beasts have emerged from their dank den and are set to return with a new full length release this June to spread their Lycanthropic Metal of Death upon the masses. Full of gritty growling vocals, they feature a mix of death thrash with an effective use of slower thicker riffs, similar to bands like Master, Possessed, and Dismember. This album delivers some absolutely ruthless tracks, which doesn’t surprise me coming from a band with members of Demilich, Shade Empire, and Deathchain.
Lycanthropic Metal of Death is actually a pretty accurate description of WINTERWOLF. They are essentially scandinavian death metal wolves in (battle vest wearing) sheep’s clothing. Things start out fast and aggressive, with the tracks “The Crypt of the Werewolves” and “Brujo”, both featuring a relentless onslaught of speedy riffs. The aggressive drum progressions drive a lot of the tone of these first few songs, keeping the pace a lot more consistent than some of the low and slow death utilised in other tracks. As we move further into the album, they incorporate the use of much slower thicker riffs. similar to what you’d hear on a Morbid Angel & Bolt Thrower album, which works well to compliment the powerful drum progressions and rhythms. This led to songs like “Devouring Entities Devour”, “Wolf Finder General”, and “Kadathian Doom” having a much deeper and slower pace overall than the songs that started things off.
As we head towards the end of the album, “Thisishispit”, “I Am the Beast of Death”, and “Primal Death” shift to a heavier thrashy focus again, using sharper tones and a larger focus on galloping drums and quick pick work. To me this signifies that the transformation is upon us again. The beast has emerged and this is his pit. Lycanthropic Metal of Death doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to imagery with the lyrics and music content all feeding the mind’s eye with the shredded flesh and bone left behind by the brutal lycanthropy.
Using fast progressions to complement the low and slow nature of old school death metal is where WINTERWOLF gains its traction. They will definitely hit the spot for many death metal lovers as well as metalheads who just love dogs. Their heavy use of supernatural subject matter adds to the atmosphere of the tracks, making every brilliant drum fill and blistering solo feel like the next step in the brutal metamorphosis. You should probably listen to this album under the next full moon. Lycanthropic Metal of Death is out on June 14, so keep your eye on the sky and blast some WINTERWOLF the next time you howl into the void! 8.5/10 Metal Yeti
8.5/10 : To Greatness and Glory!
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