Wolfthorn – The Cold Descent of Eternal Winter

Band: Wolfthorn
Album: The Cold Descent of Eternal Winter
Release Date: 2012
Genre: True Lancastrian Black Metal
Label: Captor Records

Hailing from the darkened underground of Lancashire, come the black metal warriors that are Wolfthorn. Lyrically, they take influence from good ol’ British folklore and history. The Cold Descent of Eternal Winter is the follow up of the band’s EP Echoes of a Forgotten Past.

In stereotypical black metal fashion, the album opens up with a nice little number called Disciples of Satan. The introduction is the eerie, low howls of the wind, gradually leading to an atmospheric keyboard section and gloomy combination of piano and guitar. The track takes a cruel, unforgiving twist into a fierce use of tremelo picked riffs (least, I believe it to be tremelo picking) and double bass pedals that rings out a certain Gorgoroth accent. The vocals are devilishly tasty, flowing with the music like an endless river. There is a section of the track comprised of painful screams and slower riffs, which doesn’t feel like it should have been on the track, though the low guttural growls do make for a great distraction from the slower riffs. The solo has a slight essence of blues to it which is cleverly hidden by the distortion.

Eilan’s Lament sounds too energetic to be a mournful song, though the vocals do offer up a feeling and sound of bewailing coldness. The riffs are quite repetitive, ringing a certain Burzum feel through the speakers. The track does morph into a snarling beast of aggression towards the end but still lacks the sorrowful sound you’d expect with a song that has the word “lament” in its title. The album is led like a lamb to the slaughter down an atmospheric route in the song Like Leaves Unto The Breeze before a cruel and unforgiving assault of guitars and drums takes you by surprise. Surprisingly, the song takes a slightly melodic twist, though the lyrics do sound a bit hippy with lines such as there was a tree. The vocals and the riffs are extremely diverse compared to the previous two tracks. The everchanging pace and sound of Like Leaves Unto The Breeze helps give the album a very Arthurian feel blended in with hints of Norwegian brutality and British musicianship.

Light The Beltane Fires, which some of you may know from the From The Depths compilation we released last year, smashes through with a barbaric use of riffs and crunchy drums. The vocals offer up a succulent raw sound, keeping an essence of old school black metal in harmony with the more modern sounding riffs. The whispered section makes the song almost Gothesque before it turns into a raging entity once again. Tales from the Ancient Land creates a very archaic sound with the us of acoustic guitars while the heavier, more low-fi sounding guitars provide that much needed metal savagery. Just like one of the previous tracks, this song progresses through several different sounds and paces, being somewhat of an epic. The album comes to its cold, unrelenting end in the form of the title track, The Cold Descent of Eternal Winter, which begins with the solemn combination of piano and guitars before becoming a lycanthropic beast of raging vocals and guitars, with an acute use of bone-breaking drum work. The track finishes with a repining use of piano and the slow, regretful howls of the wintry winds.

One thing is for certain, Wolfthorn aren’t your typical, corpsepaint wearing, leather clad black metal outfit nor the type of black metal band of that try too hard to be “grim” and “kvlt”. The Cold Descent of Eternal Winter is certainly of a different vein when compared to Echoes Of A Forgotten Past and in all honesty, it’s a sound that works. They might not be throwing the heaviest black metal riffs or the most Satanic lyrics but they are producing black metal that’s enjoyable and will stay with you for a long time and The Cold Descent of Eternal Winter is the solid evidence of this.

4/5

Nico Davidson

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