Well, Profound Lore has done it again. This time finding a self described “English Heritage Black Metal” metal trio from the UK comprised of member of Atavist and Wodensthrone.
I’ve often wondered, with our rich history, why there are not more UK bands (though Iron Age Records appears to have uncovered a few) plying metal about the many centuries of epic wars, conquest, invasions and history changing events, as Forefather seems to be the only one that immediately pops to mind. It’s also ironic that the title of the album indeed signifies England’s fading pride and heritage that was once the cornerstone of an great empire.
So here are Winterfylleth (Saxon for Wintermoon) and their style of harsh but organic black metal that culls from England’s grand past recounting great battles and imbuing both bloody fields of war as well as castles, rolling pastures and a natural beauty that still lurks in the English countryside. While certainly not traditional ‘folk’ metal, there’s a few Anglo Saxon ethnic injections here like clean chants, spoken words and some acoustics (i.e. “The March to Maldon”, “Guardian of the Herd”), and overall the vibe is more that of the more primal and raw Eastern European folk/black metal or even The Pacific Northwest’s damp black metal scene rather than the bouncy Scandinavian sound.
The guitar tone is gravelly but not too coarse, and has that organic sound and feel, as does the drums and bass. The songs themselves are based around your standard black rasp and tremolo picked black metal riffage with plenty of slower militaristic marches, its more raw and blacker like Forefather’s early days, but with a little more of a brackish, autumnal, misty feel. As with most black metal for me, The Ghost Of Heritage is more of an experience than about singular songs or moments, especially the subject matter which hits close to home (I was actually in an organization called English Heritage that went around to various historical landmarks and re-enacted historical events and did “living history’ displays). However, “Forged in the Iron of England”, “Defending the Realm” and “An Englishman’s Verse” did stir up something in me that been long dormant since my Americanization.
So with this and the likes of Krallice, Altar of Plagues, Hammers of Misfortune, The Gates of Slumber and such, 2008 is yet another stunning year for Profound Lore Records. Now bring on 2009 and that new Cobalt album![Visit the band's website]