Overall Score: 7/10 Originality: 6/10 Musicianship: 7/10 Emotion-Inducing: 8/10 Pros: Haunting melodies, Skilful musicianship, Variety of interesting instruments used. Cons: No songs that particularly stand out as excellent
Winterfylleth are due to release their much anticipated sixth full length album this month, entitled ‘The Hallowing of Heirdom‘. Wintefylleth formed in 2007 in Manchester, UK and rose quickly to prominence in the English Black Metal scene. They’re known for their dark and melancholy-inducing melodies and Anglo-Saxon themed lyrics, swiftly pushing them into the spotlight as one of England’s most popular black metal bands of the decade. This rise in prominence even got them winning ‘Best Underground Band’ at Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods Awards 2015, an honour shared with bands such as Immortal, Watain and Wardruna.
This album is totally different to anything they’ve previously released, primarily due to the fact that it is entirely acoustic and focuses on the folk influences they’ve showcased in their past albums. This is undeniably a brave move, especially bearing in mind the more ‘kvlt’ fanbase that are known for their focus on being ‘true’ black metal but, as a fan of folk myself, it’s provided a fascinating alternative side of Winterfylleth that works really well.
In spirit, this album is not a huge jump for Winterfylleth to make. The songs have the same lamenting melodies, just with acoustic guitars and violins instead of tremelo-picked black metal. Although many songs on this album are entirely instrumental apart from the occasional chanting in the background, the songs that do contain singing have the same lyrical themes as previous releases, with a focus on Paganism and Anglo-Saxon heritage.
This album certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste but if you enjoy Winterfylleth for their cultural and atmospheric perspective and not just because they play black metal then I think this album is definitely worth a listen. The Hallowing of Heirdom isn’t the best album they’ve released, not by a long stretch, but it’s interesting and has many positive qualities that make it a good stand-alone album. My one complaint is that it is very similar to work released by bands like Wardruna and Heilung but without the epic and monumental feeling to it.
The Hallowing of Heirdom will be released via Spinefarm/Candlelight Records on 6th April 2018.