I loved everything Tuomas Saukkonen did with his Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon projects as well as Wolfheart, his latest endeavor. The band’s first two albums, Winterborn and Shadow World are near classics of Finnish melodic death metal that immediately put the band in the same conversation as as Insomnium and Amorphis, just without the lengthy discography.

So here is album number 3, the tongue twistingly titled, Tyhjyys (’emptiness’) and Saukkonen continues to blend album art and motifs with the band’s delivery. You have the cold plod of the blue/white drenched debut, then the fiery autumnal delivery of Shadow World, and now the grey black palette and title of a much more personal, introspective but aggressive album.

Though still flocked with unmistakably somber, Finnish melodies, there is a more urgent overall delivery with a large amount of tremolo picked blast beats. After the Amorphis-ish, typically acoustic intro “Shores of the Lake Simple”, the first full track “Boneyard” blasts out of the gate with a furious pace, albeit with the recognizable Finnish crunch and deep growls (and a nice delicate mid song break) And this increased furor surfaces throughout the album, again on “World on Fire”, with added symphonic bombast and “The Rift”, though still amid it all, those rending Finnish harmonies ebb and flow to break things up.

And it’s those moments I prefer. The band’s more typically Finnish, morose and crunchy, atmospheric moments like “The Flood”, standout “Call of the Winter” , where the band show just how damn good they can be,  “Dead White” and the closing title track are perfect examples of how more evocative and effective they can be as opposed to the more sheer assault of the rest of the material. It appears Saukkonen is far more competent when influenced by colder, sadder and wetter realms.

That all said, there is something about Tyhjyys that isn’t quite grabbing like the first two efforts. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but my enthusiasm is far more tempered and I’m not as childishly excited about the album as I was for the first 2, especially the cello glossed Winterborn. Still, Tyhjyys is a fine album that still signals Wolfheart is a rising force in the Finnish metal scene.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 24th, 2017


  1. Commented by: Jay

    Damn, nice review and I’ve totally missed out on this band’s entire discography. Shame the fuck on me, ’cause I was a big Before the Dawn fan. Still listen to “My Darkness” a lot and rarely a day goes by without the song “Human Hatred” stuck in my head.

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