Wolves Den
Miserere

Germany, as usual, is host to yet another stellar band.  Wolves Den burst onto the scene in 2015 with their debut album Deus Vult.  A brutal display of black metal.  Due to the album being released without a record label, the band opting to independently release it, their great debut went relatively unnoticed, which is a damn shame.   I have never heard of Trollzorn Records so hopefully they get the Wolves Den band name out because Miserere is one of the best black metal albums for 2020.

“Tides of Hate” gets things under way with a thunderous opening drum sequence as the snare drum imitates a march and then with the growl the song gets into a blast beat, then slows down again with that snare drum march pattern and then the vocals come in  – the raspy black metal vocals.  The guitar riffing is really good and the double bass at the 2 minute part is excellent.  This opener is on the slower side of things, but is a great display of their talent and the fast part towards the end is a nice touch.  Listen to this sucker on your headphones/airpods, the sound is insane.

“Pfad ins Dunkel” starts with a melodic guitar opening, without the distortion, until the second guitar comes in and the rolling drum patterns knock you right on your ass, like Jake “The Snake” Roberts debilitating you with the DDT.  The song soon picks up some speed with some deeper vocals which pair nicely with the raspy black metal vocals.  And the guitar riffing is evil, yet still retaining a melodic and emotive edge to it.  The fast part returns with the varying vocals and is awesome, as the song then slows back down and the drum rolls are fast and sound awesome.  If you’re a drummer you are going to love the drum sound especially the toms, how deep and resonating they are-chest collapsing production on the drums.  The song gets into faster territory and more of the higher register black metal vocals rear their head, but still sound good.

“Der Frost in mir” has an atmospheric opening before bursting into a 90’s galloping frenzied speed.  Some of the riffing has an early Dissection flair to it and works well with the tempo shifts.  The lead guitar going for a melodic picking, while the main riff is a brutal black metal sound and then the song slows back down and the riffs really breathe a lot of this song – over the double bass, really punches it home, for me.  Some of the riffing, at around the 2.40 part is rooted in classic metal, it does not last long, but pay attention.  I noticed a little Maiden influence, before the song once again picks up with that 90’s speed.

“Nameless Grave” is the longest song at seven and a half minutes and starts with the melodic black metal riffing and has an epic and atmospheric build-up.  The double bass comes in and the rhythm section over this part and the riffing is great.  A little later on, some spoken words and more epic atmospherics towards the end of the song.  The song never really gets into faster territory, however the atmospherics, epic quality and excellent guitar riffing really makes this quite an expansive and well-done album closer.

Wolves Den is not the most brutal black metal band you have heard, but with their combination of melodic song structures, above average musicianship and excellent tempo shifts their sophomore album Miserere needs to be investigated by all those who are fans of this metal genre.  The album cover reminds me of the classic the Brazilian band, Sarcofago’s Rotting album.   The production is powerful, letting the brutality knock you out, as well as those emotive and ethereal moments – and there are dubious amounts of those.  Like their FB page, check out their Bandcamp page, because this is one helluva band!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
February 19th, 2021

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