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Wolfheart - Shadow World (2015) - Review

Band: Wolfheart
Album title: Shadow World
Release date: 21 August 2015
Label: Spinefarm Records

Tracklist:
01. Aeon Of Cold
02. Zero Gravity
03. Storm Centre
04. Last Of All Winters
05. Nemesis
06. Abyss
07. Resistance
08. Veri

"Winter metal", a term I never heard before, but I must say despite the endless raging on about what genre it is, Wolfheart goes strong! Putting doom, black and even some djent and folkish lines together with melodic death metal riffs is certainly in their case an interesting mix. This Finnish band was born in 2012 when Tuomas Saukkonen (better known from Black Sun Aeon and Before The Dawn) decided to foil all his bands and projects and start anew. Today Wolfheart consists of Tuomas Saukkonen on guitar and vocals, Mika Lammassaari on lead guitar, Joonas Kauppinen behind drums, and Lauri Sivonen on bass and backing vocals. Shadow World is their second full-lenght after the highly successful debut, Winterborn, on which Saukkonen played almost all of the instruments.

Shadow World opens up with "Aeon Of Cold", a beautiful blend of heavy guitars and furious vocals, tremolos riffs, solid blast beats, some seriously amazing death metal riffs, mixed with melodic riffs here and there kinda reminds me to At The Gates style... The lovely blend of doom shines through as well, and we are served by a beautiful atmospheric piano/guitar solo part that in a nice way sweeps away into a melodic passage. The vocals are absolutely harsh, but still very clear, yet quite typical of lets say Cannibal Corpse mixed with newer black metal bands. Moving over to the next track "Zero Gravity", which offers up some pounding toms and intriguing guitar harmonies, that breaks out in a full blown blast beat galore. Vocals are still as awesome as one can expect, riffs are solid, on some parts those djent riffs are like maybe heard from Meshuggah. But I still don't get the term "winter metal" here, that one sounds like more an Immortal thing, but ok... Continuing down the road to the third track "Storm Centre", again the melodies are very nicely put into the scheme, and is hard not to be amazed by the musically genious as Wolfheart are, just listen how powerful are those raging double bass drum attacks and nicely melting folk metal influenced twin guitar leads, just to expose two things. "Last Of All Winters" has a slow start of something that could be a rock ballad, but even this proves out wrong when the track breaks out to a full groovy heavy stuff, yet it is one hell of a brilliantly arranged track.

Wolfheart is a band that can blend any style into their sound and make it sound amazing, I never really heard djent riffs go well with melodic death stuff, but one thing that is certain is that they truly bring out the best in each genre so to speak, it's a bit like opening an old dusty book and finally letting the stories come true, Wolfheart tells their story by presenting us with eight brutal majestic tracks. I was not familiar with this band before, so it's a nice treat that I'm able to hear it now for the first and I absolutely believe not the last time.

While the album progresses the melodic riffing sweeps us off to another universe, it's a magical and dark journey and I must say that this is music that is best to listen at night. "Nemesis" and "Abyss" really brings all the other stuff together even if they might sound spread apart on some parts, but still with those two songs everything turns into an unit when the album ends with some slow atmospheric and highly captivating passages on "Veri". The circle becomes complete. In a way it's hard to say anything about the sound because it's such a perfect blend of everything, really! If you are into doom and black metal, some djent, Meshuggah riffs mixed with lets say Swedish melodic death metal and other things mentioned before, everything only makes this band rather unique, then Wolfheart is for you!

Review written by: Oliver
Rating: 8/10

Disclaimer: This is a guest review and it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the Terra Relicta staff.

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Album title: Alpha Waves
Release date: 27 April 2017
Label: Self-Released

Skinner Box did an album that is hardly to be believed that is only their debut. Everything is almost perfect, the sound is rich, it has a big replay value, it's not just another generic rock album, it has depth, it has soul and it simply shines of creativity. The songs are very dynamic, absolutely not repetitive, with plenty of soul melting melodies, you can find some true rocking ones, some playful, danceable popy rhythms and sparkling lines, a couple of highly emotional tunes, but all of them are bent in some kind of a melancholic veil. Considering that almost everything was done in self-production is just another plus that shows that we have to deal here with matured, devoted and professional musicians who perfectly know what they are doing. Skinner Box are a band that needs attention from everyone who is into dark alternative rock music!

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