Maybe it’s because they’re contemporaries, arriving at the same moment and playing the same style.
Maybe it’s just cause one’s better than the other. But for me at least, Winterfylleth always come under the shadow of countrymen Fen.
It’s not that they’re not worthy, because they are. Their evocative pagan metal is decent if not spine tingling, and capable though never really cockle-stirring. That was the verdict on their last album, and so it remains with this.
You can hear them trying to be proud, as it were, a lot. It generally takes the form of the major key resolutions and climactic, plaintive ‘wooooooo wooooooooo’ builds (‘The Swart Raven’), as well as some nice fast pacing to make it all a bit more energetic.
After that though, there’s not much left to talk about except two inescapable conclusions: it’s all been done before, and done much, much better. I’d be embarrased to hold this up against the good Drudkh albums, or even something comparitively benign like October Falls or Dornenreich. It never achieves such musical depth – not by a long shot.
It’s all a bit safe, and just a little on the nice side of things. There’s no melancholy, no true aggression, and though the lyrics are barked out in a bracing enough caw, the fact that they’re back in the mix and almost completely uninteligable just detract from whatever threnodies are being recounted.
But then this is pagan / black metal in style, and it’s to be expected.
There are decent moments. ‘A Memorial’, for example, has a major key riff as its main motif that just drips class. So it’s pleasant though slightly boring that its underlying melodic structure is basically adapted and re-run in ‘A Soul Unbound’.
Bottom line is if I had a tenner, I’d buy a Drudkh album, or dare I say even the Fen album before buying this. Though it’s in a style that many will love dearly – that of misty moors and winter fields, delivered in olden tyme, black metal-esque odes – the fact is, it’s boring and it’s been done a million times by tons of better bands.
So it can be as proud and celebratory of heritage as it wants, because sadly it’s got nothing else to talk about.
2.1 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 28/08/12
This is a track from the previous release – no vids yet for the new one.