In the realm that is black metal, fans are usually treated to anti-religious themed lyrics, a heavy dose of blast beats, and at times, cookie-cutter guitar riffs. However, as black metal has evolved throughout the years, we now get more atmospheric-centric style music with lyrics that tell stories of nature, history, or just simply life itself. Winterfylleth falls into the second category especially with their latest release, The Reckoning Dawn (Candlelight/Spinefarm). Spanning across the entire album are memorable guitar licks, thunderous drumming, backing chants, and accompanying synth work that really ties the complete sound package together. It may not be a visual painting to look at, but the UK outfit certainly put together a fine piece of art.
The Reckoning Dawn kicks off from the get-go with ‘Misdeeds of Faith’. The opener really excels at setting the tone on what to expect for the rest of this journey as the guitar’s tremolo their way into your earholes. ‘Absolved in Fire’ is another killer track off the record and is unrelenting once it gets up to speed. The first minute is an acoustic intro that is meant to give off a false sense of security before blowing the proverbial doors off. The changes between the main riff and the rhythm sections will leave the listener wanting more even after nine minutes. The title track, ‘The Reckoning Dawn’, may also be the summit of this album solely for the section leading up to the sixth minute. The sheer level of atmosphere from the synth and the guitar leads flying above it all is sure to get heads banging slowly. The word “epic” just does not seem to do Winterfylleth justice on these tracks at all.
Black metal is certainly the most polarizing of the subgenres in heavy metal, but I would like to think Winterfylleth might just be one of the bands in the scene that could turn even the pickiest of listeners. The Reckoning Dawn itself is the first I have ever listened to from the group across the pond and it has certainly resonated with me even after just a handful of playthroughs. Count me in as a new fan as I frantically look through streaming services to check out their full catalog dating back over a decade already!
8 / 10