Archive for Wodensthrone

Cnoc an Tursa – The Giants of Auld

Posted in CD, Folk, Metal, North of the Wall with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2nd March 2013 by underthenorthernstar

Cnoc an Tursa
“The Giants of Auld”
Released: 25th February 2013
Folk/Black Metal
Released via Candlelight records

I’ve been waiting for the new Cnoc an Tursa album to be released for a good while now; their 2008 demo has sterling songwriting, and their sound was begging for a bigger release. So when I heard that they had been signed to Candlelight Records in October last year, I started getting excited; the number of folk/black metal bands who have released near-perfect albums on candlelight is staggering – Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone, Falloch, Altar of Plagues, the list goes on. So, what was the result of such an immaculate pairing? The newly released The Giants of Auld, of course.

With a scream of “Sons of Alba, rise in the face of tyranny!” the album begins. And what an album; the sound is an intense blend of folky melodies, intense black metal and haunting, deeply emotional choirs and flute – the closing track, Blаr na h-Eaglaise Brice, is a purely instrumental, minimalistic celtic folk piece, and one of the best of its kind that I have heard – bringing together a hugely immersive atmosphere. Despite Cnoc an Tursa not being a band in quite the same pigeonhole as their contemporaries, the achieve a very similar sound that, to me, is equally conveying of the band’s passion for its country’s history. One could be forgiven for worrying, having listened to the 2008 demo, that their earlier songs (which, for the most part, comprise the first half of the album) could have become over produced, too clean. Thankfully, this is not a problem; the album is not without an edge, not without its humanity.

The songwriting (let me leave no doubts about this) is flawless. The Lion of Scotland and Hail Land of my Fathers are completely full of hooks, and you will find yourself humming each and every individual melody in those songs, which is something very hard to achieve on what is very predominantly a black metal album. Something that this album “gets”, is that you can have huge, catchy melodies without being at all cheesy. I never for one moment found myself saying that a particular section was misplaced. In addition to this, the band never lets melody cheapen the album; a problem that many bands have is they oversaturate their sound with keys, making the songs “catchy”, but far less powerful. Keys are definitely present in this album, but they very much provide a supporting role, building the sound from the foundations up.

So, I have not been disappointed; more encouraged. Cnoc an Tursa continue to be a fantastic band. This album is consistent, immersive, and above all, genuine. Very few metal bands can communicate quite this level of passion through their music, and I will come back to this album time and time again. Fantastic work, and one of the best releases of the year from one of the best bands to come out of Scotland.

5/5
Alasdair “Scotch Egg” Dunn

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Viking metallers Ravenage and more confirmed for Valk-Fest 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 14th February 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

This year’s Valkyrian Festival (29th of November – 1st of December) is now bolstered by the announcement of five more absolutely sterling bands. You can catch these guys, along with Nya, Narcotic Death, Aonia, Old Corpse Road and a plethora of others for only a fiver over the course of the weekend.

For the Friday, Scottish power trio Storm of Embers are making their way south. Hot on the tail of their rapturous EP launch, these guys are eager to make their way into everyone’s music library with their unique blend of progressive, melodic and post-metal. You can get their EP I from this location.

Also on the Friday, Dead Man’s Conspiracy are bringing what they call “Real Metal” to Valk-Fest 2013. Formed in 2009, the 5-piece have gone about carving a niche for their “energetic, chaotic and unpredictable live shows”. Their music is available to listen to at their Facebook page.

Saturday brings yet another Scottish band down from their heights – heroes of the underground Maelstrom. Having supported bands like Tyr, Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth, Alestorm and A Forest of Stars over the almost 9 years of their existence, the well-dressed gents will crush this year’s festival with their intense, brutal combination of symphonic black and doom metal. Not ones to miss: with their colossal live show, they certainly ought to be massive. Pick up on their stuff at this location.

Headlining the Friday are none other than Yorkshire’s very own heathen warband Ravenage, who have shared the stage with big names like Tyr, Skyforger and Hecate Enthroned. Formed in the cold winter of 2007, Ravenage have grown into one of the most formidable forces of the UK’s underground scene.

And finally, on the Sunday, hailing from the birthplace of heavy metal, Dakesis will be bringing their cheese-layered power metal sounds to Valkyrian Festival. After being unable to play last year’s Valk-Fest due to illness, the five piece prog. power outfit are more than pleased to have been announced for this year’s event.

Valkyrian Festival will take place at Shades Nightclub 29th November through to 1st December – all profits from the festival go to RapeCrisis. Tickets are £5 for weekend and available from this location. Further details and news can be found at the official Valkyrian Festival Facebook and Twitter.

 

Winterfylleth – The Threnody of Triumph

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 14th August 2012 by bkemeny92

Winterfylleth
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.

4/5

Bálint Kemény

Belphegor only UK show at Damnation

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 16th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Austrian death metal outfit Belphegor have been confirmed to play their only UK show at Damnation Festival later this year. The band will be playing the Terrorizer Stage.

Belphegor’s Helmuth said: “We are looking forward to shredding the mighty land of NWOBHM, again. It’s always a pleasure and an intense ritualistic raid experience to bring our chaos sound to the UK. Hail Damnation! Hail Death!

Joining Belphegor on the Terrorizer Stage, as announced today by Damnation Festival, will be crust punk pioneers Extreme Noise Terror and British black metal unit Wodensthrone.

Wodensthrone guitarist/vocalist Rædwalh said: “Wodensthrone are very pleased to have been invited to play Damnation Festival; an event that we have seen grow from its inception in Manchester to one of the UK’s premier metal events. I fondly remember the early incarnations of the festival, so to see it grow to its current status is very encouraging. The already-confirmed lineup is extremely promising and for ourselves to be included in it is a humbling testament to this band’s perseverance. With our second album, Curse, now out on Candlelight Records, we are proudly raising the banner of UK Black Metal in 2012 and to be able to cap off a busy year with a Damnation appearance is an honour. Wæs thu hæl!

And completing Damnation’s announcement, progressive hardcore band Devil Sold His Soul will be hitting up the Jagermeister Stage with a new album to show case.

Devil Sold His Soul added: “We last played Damnation Festival back in 2008. It was hot, sweaty, loud and heavy and we loved every minute of it. We always enjoy playing in Leeds and the line-up this year looks incredible. We’ll have a new album out by then and can’t wait to play these new longs live – Bring it on Damnation.”

Announced so far for Damnation Festival 2012 is: Electric Wizard, My Dying Bride, Pig Destroyer, Belphegor, Primordial, Extreme Noise Terror, Textures, Devil Sold His Soul, Aura Noir, Gama Bomb, 40 Watt Sun and Wodensthrone.

Tickets priced £32 are available from http://www.leedstickets.com/ and via the official Damnation Festival site and Facebook through Ticketscript: http://www.damnationfestival.co.uk/tickets and at Crash and Jumbo store in Leeds.

For more information visit the official Damnation Festival sites:

Web – damnationfestival.co.uk
Facebook – facebook.com/damnationfestival
Twitter – twitter.com/damnationfest

Wodensthrone – Curse

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 29th May 2012 by izaforestspirit

Wodensthrone
Curse
Released: April 2012
Black Metal
Released via Candlelight Records

‘Curse’ is the second album from the British heathen black metal band Wodensthrone. It is the follow-up to their 2009 debut ‘Loss’.

Don’t let the slow, acoustic intro fool you into thinking that Wodensthrone have done an Enslaved-like move switching their style towards a more progressive style of black metal. As ‘Jormungadr’ demonstrates, Wodensthrone are still very much engrossed in their unique brand of atmospheric black metal. Comparisons to Drudkh spring to mind combined the atmospheric elements from Graveland. This particular song features some clear vocals towards the end which act as a kind of hymn or chant.

Most of the tracks are lengthy, clocking in at over 6 minutes but luckily the listener’s patience is handsomely rewarded. Take ‘First Light’ for instance, it features a soothing, folk-esque melody half-way through the track in which the guitars slow down to match the overall tone before a return to atmospheric black metal. ‘The Great Darkness’ sees a brief change in the vocal style from black metal to what sounds like someone reciting or telling a story. Oddly enough this doesn’t impair the track at all but rather it gives in a certain ‘mythical quality’.

Other noteworthy tracks include: ‘Battle Lines’ which features a Graveland-esque intro resembling ancient battle formations marching on one another and ‘The Storm’ which combines ferocity with ambience.

4/5

Iza Raittila