Today we are heading back to our roots, and Pagan/Folk Metal band WOLFCHANT will be our guides through the past. The German 7 pieces are unleashing their sixth full length album “Bloodwinter” on the world. I’m not going to lie, I have a soft spot for Folk Metal so I’m excited to see how this album turns out.
Sadly, that excitement soon begins to fade. “Bloodwinter” opens with a very typical symphonic track, with an orchestra and an operatic vocalist. It’s all very nice but straight away I’m feeling something is lacking, it’s like the components are all there and there’s just no fire behind them. At this point I’m not holding much hope for “Bloodwinter” but WOLFCHANT begin to pull it back and by the time we hit the title track the band are getting into the swing of it. We begin to see guitarists Skaahl and Gorthrim throw out some serious riffs and occasionally a great solo, it’s a great difference from the uninspiring beginning.
I do have to commend WOLFCHANT on their vocalists, the combination of clean vocals and harsh blackened rasps feels very well-rehearsed and compliments the music well. There is a trap to fall into with two vocalists, it’s very easy for each track to sound too similar because both singers are competing with each other all the time. I’m happy to say though, that WOLFCHANT have mostly managed to avoid this pit fall. With both clean and harsh vocals working together to keep the songs interesting, I do have to say mostly though because on occasion the clean vocals overpower the harsher rasping vocals.
As the album draws to a close we come to one of the stand out tracks on “Bloodwinter”, “Anthems Of Revenge”. This is one of those tracks where everything just falls into place and works, with heavy churning guitar riffs and nice solo for good measure and vocals that really step up and give it a proper “Epic Folk tale” feel. That’s just my personal favourite though as these last few tracks are the bands finest on this album and offer something for everyone. The band has been getting steadily better and now sadly at the end they come into their prime.
I don’t know what happened here, “Bloodwinter” begin as a lacklustre and uninspiring album. It’s like the band were there, but only in body but as the album progressed they slowly began to find themselves and at the end they were producing some great music. They need to watch the mix between vocalists though as sometimes you can hear that the unclean vocals are a little weak. “Bloodwinter” certainly has its flaws, but it’s still a half decent album, with more good elements than bad. I just wish they had played at the beginning like they did at the end.
3.Wolfchant (A wolf to man)
6.Heritage Of Fire
8.Prelude To Revenge
9.Anthems Of Revenge
11.New Born Killer
Lokhi – Vocals, Choir, Mouth Harp
Nortwin – Clean Vocals, Choir
Skaahl – Lead Guitars
Gorthrim – Guitars
Sertorius – Bass
Norgahd – Drums