Wolfheart – Winterborn–Spinefarm Records – Out Now.
Melodic death metal at its best from Tuomas Saukkonen. This project ” Wolfheart” rises after Tuomas Saukkonen ended al his other music projects. He started out solo, but in 21.03 it became a full band. Now on Spinefarm they releases their latest effort “Winterborn”.
Tuomas Saukkonen – guitar &vocals
Mika Lammassaari – lead guitar
Joonas Kauppinen – drums
Lauri Silvonen – bass & backing vocals
Wolfheart is Tuomas Saukkonen’s latest project. He is known for starting out solo and forming a band around him later on. Other projects he has started and is known for include Before The Dawn and Black Sun Aeon.
However, in January of 2013 he decided to stop all ongoing projects and started Winterborn. Again this started out as a solo project; it has since become a four man band. This album first came out in 2013 without the help of a label. Since then this first copy has sold out. Thankfully we get a second chance with this re-issue released with the help of Spinefarm Records. This new version also includes two new songs at the end, to further flesh out the already awesome album.
The overall themes of the songs involve winter, wolves, war, soldiers, battle and overall melancholy. I really love the vocals. They are very dark and raw. Add to that the heavy and up-tempo guitar play and you get the feeling that you’re in the wilderness somewhere, cold and alone doing battle with soldiers and fighting wars or at other times isolated and on a hunt.
The lyrics are also worth checking out. Because of the way they are sang they might be a little hard to make out, but although they are relatively simple they pretty much finish what the music starts thematically. Another part of this is the vocal style. Yes, it’s harder to understand what is going on, but they do add to the emotion and darkness that is the theme of this album. I would not want it any other way myself.
Some songs like “Routa Pt2” and “Chasm” slow things down a little bit in places. Bringing in a violin and acoustic guitar to ever so slightly offset the more powerful and aggressive overall tone. These songs introduce an ever so slight hint of folk into the mix.
When you first checkout the first song on the album “The Hunt” which is also the single from this album you might get the impression that you put on the wrong CD by mistake as it starts out pretty calm with an acoustic intro, but don’t worry; soon enough it will reveal its true nature and explode with power.
Then there are the two new songs we get with this release: “Isolation” and “Into The Wild”. “Isolation” really seems like an odd choice to be included on this album. It really puts the melody in the melodic death metal. Completely instrumental and played only on keyboard, violin and acoustic guitar it is a slower and minimalistic song. It sounds fragile to the point of breaking and really puts you in a melancholy state of mind. However strange it may seem at first it does set you up for one last blast with “Into The Wild”. All bets are off as we once again pick up the tempo and go for the finally this albums deserves.
With a good overall tempo and nice aggressive tone it’s exactly how I like my death metal. However, it is certainly capable of slowing down and even becoming fragile when it wants to be. Which makes the overall experience even better in my opinion.
A solid debut made better by the two extra tracks. Hard not to pick up.
- The Hunt
- Strength and Valour
- Routa pt.2
- Gale of Winter
- Ghost of Karelia
- Into the Wild
Score: 4,2 out of 5
Text by Rik Leppers