Constellation of the Black Light

One could argue that within the Finnish melodic death metal scene, you have the ‘big three’ comprised of Amorphis, Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum. But nipping at their heels are a couple of bands I really like in Noumena and Wolfheart, the brain child of Tuomas Saukkonen, whose former projects Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon, could at one time also been mentioned in the upper echelon of the genre.

This is Saukkonen’s fourth album under the Wolfheart moniker since 2013, and he is as consistent as he is prolific, as Constellation of the Black Light deliver yet more quality, instantly recognizable Finnish melodic, yet melancholic death metal. It also continues the slightly more aggressive, melodic black metal evolution that started on 2015s Shadow World (think opener “Aeon of Cold”) and developed more on  2017s Tyhjyys.

10+ minuter opener “Everlasting Fall” starts the album with basically a full on symphonic black metal track , with wonderful orchestration and small segments of more gruff Finnish melancholy. Its a decent track, but at ten minutes it tends to drag on in its latter stages, and probably could have been a more appropriate album ender. That said, the next 6 tracks are all absolutely perfect songs, that are a little shorter and full of sheer Finnish bliss.

Second track, “Breakwater”, should have been the album opener, a blistering death /black metal blast layered with a well placed clean chorus and killer riffs and a dramatic lead solo and somber rumble to close out. “The Saw” is another standout with a more standard, crunchy but melancholic  moody Finnish gait and pace. “Forged with Fire” ups the tempo a little with a great chord progressions and some killer , delicate piano tinkling in the background before one of my favorite tracks, “Defender” a mid paced rumbler with a gorgeous orchestral laced chorus. Another favorite, “Warfare” is the album’s most direct, aggressive track with blast beats mixing with sweeping but symphonics and and a superb atmospheric last stanza. Closer “Valkyrie”, is an apt, somber end note, with essentially an instrumental second half that;s a sobering mid paced crunch and march before fading out.

As you’d expect, the production is clean and brisk, like the Finnish mountains with typical Finnish crunch, and Saukkonen keeps the vocals also distinctly Finnish with powerful, deep growls.  Constellation of the Black Light is yet another consistent winning album from Wolfheart, a band that should garner more and more recognition with the pantheons of Finnish metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 15th, 2018


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