As we self-quarantine during this modern version of the black plague it’s more than welcoming news that U.K. black metal overlords Winterfylleth are dropping an album due early May titled The Reckoning Dawn. It’s my third time listening to this record; I’m three tracks in, and I can’t stop listening to it.
This isn’t your standard slam and bash, Hellhammer-influenced, black metal. The Reckoning Dawn is intellectual, refined, and crafted at an insanely high level of metal mastery. First, the production on this disc takes the band’s otherworldly, atmospheric sound and style to soaring heights that single out and showcase the emotive aspect of Winterfylleth’s music.
There’s a certain aspect of doom and darkness to the eight songs on this record underscored by the sheer heaviness of the metal that Winterfylleth crush our collective skulls with. Track three, “Absolved by Fire,” track six, “Betwixt Two Crowns,” and track eight, “In Darkness Begotten” are great examples of this. They, much like the other tunes on this record, reverberate with metallic hellfire (and a pinch of goth) but aren’t afraid to change up tempo or add an acoustic guitar part when the song demands it.
Songs on The Reckoning Dawn show incredible growth, musically and lyrically, compared to previous records. Each track on this disc has a distinct emotional flow to it because of Winterfylleth’s orchestral approach to musical composition, layering sound and style, mood and heaviness, a rare feat that bands like Winterfylleth attain through impeccable band chemistry fostering creativity through soundscape, allowing something epic such as The Reckoning Dawn, to be made.
It’s hard to not say enough good things about The Reckoning Dawn which, in this reviewer’s opinion, is their best album to date. It’s the best of all things black metal with touches of My Dying Bride appearing throughout.
Too often, the black metal genre suffers from formulaic record making and a refusal to take artistic risks, neither of which are Winterfylleth or The Reckoning Dawn; both are fiercely original and anything but run of the mill. Buy this record.
The Reckoning Dawn is due for release May 8 via Candlelight and Spinefarm Records and can be pre-ordered here.