Wolfheart
Winterborn

Wolfheart is the solo project of one Tuomas Saukkonen, who you might recognize as the brainchild behind such acts as Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon. Winterborn is the first project under this moniker after disbanding all his other projects, and though it was originally self released back in 2013, Spinefarm is now making this slab of Finnish melodic doom death perfection available again to no doubt adorn year end lists in 2015.

Those familiar with albums from both Black Sun Aeon and Before the Dawn (2012’s swansong Rise of the Phoenix was a criminally underrated, brilliant release) will know what to expect here, as Saukkonen is going back to the same musical well in style; Lush Finnish melodic death/doom metal with a melancholy edge that’s full of big chunky riffs, deep bellows, crestfallen leads and all lightly flecked with some gorgeous cellos. You can’t help but make comparisons to the likes of Insomnium, October FallsNoumena and Rapture and certainly at times, Amorphis, the godfathers of the style.

And my god is it ever good. Even with such obvious nods to a tried and tested sound, Saukkonen (joined by many of his Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon bros) as you’d expect, absolutely nails the sound. There are soooo many good riffs on here, it simply has to be heard from start to finish. The album has it all from more up-tempo urgent numbers (“Strength and Valor”, “Ghost of Karelia”) to slower more morose lopes ( “Gale of Winter”, “I” both where the Amorphis sound really comes through) and plenty of wilting atmospherics (“Breathe”, sorrowful interlude “Isolation”), of course all of it is rendered with a big Finnish crunch, rending leads, powerful bellows (no cleans here either) and the light gloss of morose cellos and synths.

Picking standout tracks is virtually impossible as there simply isn’t any filler here. Every track just oozes excellence. That being said, opener “The Hunt” and fifth track “Ghost of Karelia” which has pretty much a perfect opening riff, and the more somber “Routa pt 2” are just simply jaw dropping in their perfect rendering of this style. But no disrespect to the likes of “Chasm”,  or closer “Into the Wild”, as that’s like picking out the hottest person from a group of 10s. Every track is damn near perfect.

Winterborn is about a perfect album as I’ve heard in a looooong time. Not only is this going to be very high on my year end list, if I’m still doing this writing thing in 5-10 years, don’t be surprised if this gets the ‘New Classics’ treatment at some point down the road. Sublime.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 9th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: timmy

    Right-right!


  2. Commented by: iwein

    I’v never heard of this! Shame on me! It’s brilliant!


  3. Commented by: Stiffy

    This make my dick hard


  4. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Yeah Shane- this is right up your alley. And notice no mom comments in response to dick comment (yet).


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