Wolfheart
Shadow World

Not content with dropping the reissue of debut, Winterborn on us earlier this year, former Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon founder Tuomas Saukkonen is already dropping his new project’s second album on us to fuck up 2015 year end lists everywhere.

Whereas the template of the music is still heavily rooted in his past along with a touch of AmorphisInsomnium, October Falls and Noumena, Shadow World expands it a little, and one only need look to the color scheme of the album artwork. Whereas Winterborn was a more somber, cold and cello laden affair, Shadow World is more indicative of autumnal, fiery hues and a more aggressive sound. The cello is all but gone replaced by a piano and more driven chunky riffs, though still flocked with that unmistakable downtrodden Finnish sheen.

The delicate piano that opens “Aeon of Cold” could have come from any recent Amorphis album, but explodes in a furious blast beat, immediately signalling Saukkonen’s more aggressive intent. And from there, if you heard the debut or any of the above mentioned bands, you know what you are getting into, production, riff and vocal wise, even if is is rendered with a little more bite than you might expect.

As with Winterborn, there isn’t a weak song or riff, even if missing the more introspective moments and atmospherics. This is all about big crunchy, slightly sonorous Finnish riffs and big bellowed vocals. Picking out favorites is difficult, but the frantic stomp of “Storm Centre” struck a chord with me reminding me of “Hell Is Where the Heart Is” from Edge of Sanity‘s Infernal.  Also, “Last of all Winters”  has that perfect, emotive Amorphis bounce and chug while “Abyss”, the album’s most restrained track, still rumbles with moody purpose. It’s followed by “Resistance” a polar opposite and one of the album’s most forceful tracks.  8 minute closer “Veri” is the album’s lone truly ‘slow’ doomier track closing things out with an appropriate mood and orchestral ending.

But really, all 9 tracks and 46 minutes are enthralling, top notch, Finnish melodic death/doom metal and it looks like Saukkonen and Wolfheart look to have the rare double dip of killer albums in one year in 2015.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 25th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jay

    Great review Erik. I really dig/dug Before the Dawn. Great dark, catchy melodic sound. I’ll check into this.

    You know what I REALLY want? A new Fall of the Leafe!


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