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Caoimhín - The Age Of Wolves [EP] (2017) - Review

Band: Caoimhín
Album title: The Age Of Wolves [EP]
Release date: 16 April 2017
Label: Black Lion Records

01. Víðarr
02. Níðhöggr

It's rarely that a newcomer band shows already with its first release such potential and creates really otherworldly music. This is the case with Caoimhín, a music project formed in 2016 by USA based composer Kevin Pribulsky, who gathered around himself a high class unit of musicians, Norwegian musician Tom Simonsen (guitars, bass, synths and programming), USA harsh vocalist Andrew Malone, plus Norwegian female vocalist Cecilie Langlie and bass vocalist Kjetil Ottersen. Caoimhín seeks to transform the unrelenting force and silent tranquility of the untouched northern wilderness into music, and believe me that they made it. What we got is an unrelenting highly expressive and ethereal sound that will mostly appeal to fans of melodic and atmospheric black metal.

The Age Of Wolves is a two track EP with playing time of around 23 minutes. Both of the tracks are epic, quite mesmerizing and overall haunted by an addictive pervasive sorrow. The two tracks are pretty different between each other; while the first one, "Víðarr", is delivering more of an ethereal experience with Cecilie's strong, almost operatic angelic vocals and truly expansive broad sound based on atmosperic, but still ferocious form of black metal. The track is highly melodic, almost cinematic, with many mood changes, from doomy soothing ambiances, typical symphonic metal with strong pounding rhythmic line, to speeding tremolo picked parts. Caoimhín insert very well acoustic guitars, emotive piano touches, but throughout the whole thing the depth and ambiance is kept on a high level with amazing persuasive synths. It's almost magical how the band can trigger the imagination and lead the listener on a mystical journey through misty nordic lands. Lyrically this song is an ode to the bravery of Óðinn’s son. By killing the great wolf Fenrir, he avenges his father’s death and sets the world on a new cycle of death and rebirth.

The second one, "Níðhöggr", is based more on a traditional black metal approach with shriekening vocals delivered by Andrew, but also this one is full of magical moments, telling the story of the evil serpent who feeds on the dead and this way reminding us about ferocity and sheer ruthlessness of the natural world. Constantly keeping the high melodic standards, but with many speeding blast beats it certainly offers an unimaginable dynamics with yet very accessible sound. Again with many mood variations where flamboyant orchestrations, organ sounds, angelic female voices and pounding doom elements come in forefront, but well wrapped into one rich amalgam of intriguing atmospheric sound.

This first offer of Caoimhín should satisfy all those who are into extreme forms of atmospheric metal music and search to be taken away on an epic journey with music that has necessary flow, it's magical and it has depth. But still, regardless to all this beauty, I think that the band could do it even better, I had a feeling that the this two compositions serve with almost everything in the first four or five minutes, there's not enough drama and suspense later on, and I believe that if Caoimhín could build up the tension a bit more slowly, the final effect would be even more appealing. Nevertheless I would recommend this EP to everybody who fancies bands like Midnight Odyssey, Wolves In The Throne Room, Calladan Brood, Wood Of Desolation, Les Discrets, Windir, Draugnim, Summoning, ColdWorld, Hyperion and similar atmospheric or melodic black metal bands. I'm looking forward for Caoimhín's debut full-lenght which will be titled A River Bears Westward and is scheduled to be released later this year.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8/10