Winterfylleth – The Threnody of Triumph

The Threnody of Triumph
Released: September 2012
UKBM (English Black Metal)
Released via Candlelight Records

Winterfylleth! For those who don’t yet know the name of this fine quartet of Englishmen, they are the leading band of the so-called UK Black Metal scene, which emerged from Albion’s soil a few years ago and with bands like Winterfylleth, Fyrdsman and Wodensthrone it soon became really popular amongst the more emotional black metal fans. No wonder though, who could resist the call of woods presented in such flowing and proud manner touched with a sense of national romanticism.

And now back to The Threnody of Triumph, which is the title of the third Winterfylleth album. I was lucky enough to be able to follow this band right from their first album (The Ghost of Heritage), so I can clearly see that the path they follow is the right one. That said, in my opinion, The Threnody of Triumph is their best record to date. The recipe is the same as before, so Winterfylleth fans don’t need to read my review any further, they will know what to expect: the atmosphere of the English woods are evoked by flowing, distant black metal growls of N. Wallwork the restless tremolo picking of guitarists Mark Wood and C. Naughton, the blastbeats and the doomy crushing drumming of S. Lucas, and the bass and baritone choir of the men.

If we take a look at the compositions, I’m usually most critical about the songwriting, if a band is using cliché and overused chord progressions, melodies and rhythmic patterns, I’ll pound the album beneath the soil. However, Winterfylleth has passed the exam very well, earning my seal of approval. The chord based guitar playing is very well executed, and the occasional lead guitar parts are very well in place. The atmosphere is dark and consistent throughout the album, none of the songs stick out, the album makes a nice whole, though the songs could be listened separately too. It’s hard to pick a song as the best part of the album, if I needed to pick a favourite though it would be the post-metal flavoured The Swart Raven and the brilliant acoustic interlude of Æfterield-Fréon.

It’s very difficult to write about the downside of this album, as for those who like the genre and are more involved in UKBM, this is THE pinnacle of the genre, a perfect album. For those though, who are not able to drown in the atmosphere and for those who can only listen to the surface of the music, the album will be utterly boring. That said, this is not an album to listen to while going to work on public transport or while having a beer with the friends. This is an album to listen to in its entirety sitting comfortably, eyes closed, fully concentrated on the music. The same way you would listen to a Moonsorrow or an Agalloch album.

For the UKBM fans, this is a perfect album, the album of the year and most probably the best album in the genre so far. For somebody who’s interested in the genre, but not the most frequent listener (like me), this album is still going to be a great listen, will cause many  hours of pleasure. Agalloch fans would most probably love this album as well. Those who cannot appreciate a great journey through music, a romanticism-filled painting of the majestic English lands, should pass the album and listen to something else.


Bálint Kemény

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