Formed in 2007 by former members of Doomsters Atavist, Winterfylleth have just released their third album 'The Threnody Of Triumph', the follow up to the 2010 album 'The Mercian Sphere'.
The band have taken the concept of a 'Threnody', a lament to dead loved ones, linking it to how people historically viewed ideas of spirituality; how the soul and the body were connected and how the ancient British viewed the process of transitioning the body/soul to the afterlife and then accepted of the passing of their loved ones; by paying homage to their lives through the dedication of a Threnody as a final tribute.
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The band state that this album marks a new phase in the progression of their sound; contrasting the darkness of loss and the joy of remembrance with virulent black Metal and soaring melodies, while still retaining their trademark sound which they describe as English Heritage Black Metal, aiming to bring awareness to England's historical stories, folklore, landscapes and ancestral past, the subjects of their musical inspiration, through their folk-influenced vitriolic black Metal.
Opening on a sustained note that builds and develops into a deep, distorted, intense sound with at times, a wonderfully depressive feel, the first track, 'A Thousand Winters' pretty much sets the pace and style of the album. I loved the vocals; a harsh and demonic scream most of the time and also the powerful drums from Simon Lucas, which are very prominent throughout almost to the extent of the album being drum led. The guitars have a distorted, classic black Metal sound to them.
Midway through 'The Swart Raven', a folk-style vocal and acoustic interlude helped to break up the track and add interest and variety. Breaking up the album further were two acoustic numbers; the first, 'ᴁfterield –Fréon' a beautifully haunting, folk-influenced, violin led instrumental and the other, 'Home Is Behind' which is guitar based, folk-influenced and beautifully melancholic.
With 'The Fate Of Souls After Death' there seemed something a little more powerful about the whole track, the vocals, a mix of both screams and growls which add a sense of conflict or torment and towards the end, also before the final verse a slower, emotive, folk-influenced element is introduced breaking the track up and again adding interest. This is one of the two standout tracks.
The other is 'The Threnody of Triumph', the title, final and longest track, powerful with an almost triumphant and at times very upbeat feel to it which drops away in the final minute to a gentle reflective guitar giving a feeling of finally finding peace.
At over an hour long this is a marathon of an album and I found my mind wandering a little at times because the sound, although intense, rich and powerful was a little samey in places. However this is a very good album and an enjoyable listen and the sound does envelop you. I do think that with repeated listens it could be an album that would grow on you.
Recorded at Foel Studios,'The Threnody Of Triumph' is out now on Candlelight Records.