Moody Black Metal that rewards persistent listeners with good songs. Wodensthrone describe their music as stirring heathen Black Metal which strikes me as being like a club with a dress code.
The opener is an Iron Maiden 'Strangeworld' styled acoustic number that filled me with excitement. Third time through and the songs began to deliver on that early promise by revealing themselves from the foggy mists of my initial impression.
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Frantically strummed riffs and the yappingly barked vocals lack sufficient difference in pitch and rhythm to bring clarity to the melee. The stirring opener is an omen of things to come.
The most satisfying element in every song is the moody melodic sections with choral vocals and splashes of acoustic instrumentation.
The production is not as good as it could be, or at least not to my taste. Without listening exhaustively to the genre I was disappointed to find the blast beats muted as if recorded from the room next door; guitars with a harsh upper note and a lack of dynamic range. Whenever things back off you can almost hear the compression giving everything room to breathe and the picked chord tones shine out through the mire.
'First Light', the third track of the album, is the first to step forward from the fog with an honest tune and variation in the feel. Far from singalong, this song definitely has enough to have you skipping through the track list to find it out.
Saving the best to last, the album finishes with the epic 'The Name Of The Wind'. The song has everything you could want, clean sections, melody, fantastic riffs, great lead guitar, need I say more...
The album is definitely worth listening to and persevering with. It strikes me that this is a competitive market and the band will need something special on tour and a lot of hard work to standout but these are good songs with enough depth to reward persistent listeners.