Label: Napalm Records release: 10th April 2020
There’s something positive about missing release dates – so many other people have already reviewed and praised this album, so I can easily join in. No need to self-question my judgement as “too enthusiastic” because of being a long-time fan of this band (and the band’s “ancestry”).
The fifth Wolfheart studio album effortlessly manages to continue their musical direction on the one hand and to offer something new on the other. The predecessor “Constellation of the Black Light” already featured a synth more notably. On this album, the symphonic-epic keys receive even more space and sometimes a dominant role, not only used for creating atmospheres but also contributing to massive Black Metal-lish sound walls (reminding us of Black Sun Aeon). Therefore once again there’s this peculiar blend of melodies / harmonies and brutal riffs / blast-beats that captivates you immediately and you just want to hear more … In parts Wolves of Karelia is even more aggressive than the predecessor, because there’s less easy-going groove and more of complex song structures and wicked twists and turns. Considering this with the references to different styles (Black Metal, Pagan-Folk, epic-heroic Metal, Thrash, Old-School-Death, acoustic Pop), this album could almost be considered bordering on prog… The lyrics are connected by the theme of Finnish winter war and I think some of them are particularly touching (Ashes).
In short, once again high quality work from House Stark- err Saukkonen, a successful mixture of hard and melodic and although an “instant ear-candy” superhit is not immediately noticeable, the chorus of The Hammer should be the future all-time-fave of live audiences (as soon as concerts are permitted again). A must for fans of Finnish Metal / Melodic Death Metal – and all Wolfheart fans already own this album anyway 🙂