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Wintarnaht - Hriuwa Award winner

by Craig Rider at 06 February 2021, 8:06 PM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! I am proud to present to you: WINTARNAHT; signed via Talheim Records, hailing from the glory of Germany - performing Archaic Black Metal, on the 4th album entitled: "Hriuwa" (released 10/31/2020).

Since formation in 1997 (as WINTERNIGHT until 2001, and now as WINTARNAHT from 2012) the soloist in question has a demo entitled: "Rache" (released March 2007); 2 splits entitled: "Winternight / Trollzorn" (released October 1st, 2007) & "Unterweltmysterien" (released March 16th, 2019). An EP entitled: "þiu Sunnawenti" (released April 10th, 2015), a compilation entitled: "Germinôd - Archaische Verse" (released March 29th, 2016) & 4 full-length albums entitled: "Pestilenz" (released May 1st, 2010); "Tôdhên Uoþal" (released May 29th, 2013), "In Âgez" (released March 11th, 2017) & this here 4th album entitled: "Hriuwa". 9 tracks ranging at around 60:19… WINTARNAHT arrange an intricately designed formula on some heavy hitting Archaic Black Metal developments.

Opening up with this stormy ambience in atmospheric eeriness of what would seem to impose of a doomy graveyard setting with rainfall, thunder and an entrancing element of lightly tapped bong features ensue a daunting mood until this blistering barrage frenzy of intensely bludgeoning guitars shred with shrieking momentum. The titular track distils  break-neck tremolo riffing while flamboyantly distorted calamities in riveting rhythms that trailblaze with scorching triggers while unearthing this otherworldly contortion in blasphemous harmonies in which rumble with rompy reverberation, rampantly trembling mayhem and chaotic extremities that revels with symbolic retribution while this volatile virtuosity quintessentially manifests this monstrously meaty maelstrom of primitively raw ramifications that will mesmerise you with full force enlightenment…impressively merging this acoustic harmony within this progressively technical boundary in hellish testimony of resonate pandemonium to boot.

Consisting of the singular musician himself - Grimwald excels at a resoundingly remarkable rift of shouty vocals that shout with screeching yet raspy tightness, pipes yell with throaty significance that would seem as if the madman is tortured with extreme aggression…nothing more nor less. "Urlagfrôwa" utilizes vehement guitar hooks, chugging with profusely robust substance & while surging with this organic ritual in archaic blitzkrieg. Offering sonically seamless majesty while morphing this ominously striking slab of momentous slays that pursuits with punchy jumpiness, killer laceration mobilities & relentless dexterity. Additional keyboard effects mid-portion makes for a gothic landscape with these operatic chants also in place…quite manic but greatly intense.

"þe Hreôgot" dynamically perseveres with hybrid experimentation, where this outrè panache of soaring tribulations sprinkle a diverse element with this borderline foundation in chunky crunchiness & diligently detailed concepts of songwriting finesse crafts an adroit attribute in immersively chiseling but blackened expertise that will either have you wanting to break chairs over other chairs or just marvel immensely at the meticulous stability this solo artist has delivered for you. The drums are programmed, yet they sound viciously groundbreaking and fiercely executed in which rattle my skull with groovy gravitation. Introducing the impressive Lyre playing mid-section that's just performed with speedy deadliness and with snappy remedy…the vocals then transform into an evolving howl that's just an agonizing battle cry if anything.

"þaz tuncel Grabahûfo" begins with this dark but escalating pattern that vibes with sulfurous melodies that not long after injects an infectiously dense sturdiness where thudding bass audibilities pummel with rambunctious impact, boisterously bouncy drum hammerings clobber a battering yet persistently monolithic tempo that sit nicely underneath the weighty spectrum of rapidly swift nimbleness & vibrantly quirky mysticism while remaining gnarly but contrasted in a distinctively complex but distinguished way of symphonious mettle. The guitars are kind of mellow, yet euphonically elegant. Elsewhere, "þez Hraban Swarzi Trahanûn'' transitions with this melancholic passage where acoustic instrumentation flows and with more of those kind of clean cords that sing with melodramatic rhapsody of salubriously passionate oeuvre & operatic tension. While belting bruising hymns, hardened into a berserking but bulldozing stomp of steely profanity & savagely sinister precision.

Maintaining that ruthless synergy of mythical revolutions, "Sîn þiu Erþa" starts off with this pianist element; implementing a haunting trial of mountainous yet towering malevolence until this punchline yet shamanic liturgy piledrives with thumpy yet stampy velocity. While more of those choir-like chants articulate a frightening but enchanting fundamental in flexible soundscapes while the thrilling hostilities compose a uniquely versatile presence that's just miraculously remarkable for a one-man representation. "Firhazzêt Truhtîn" equally compiles hypnotising spellbinds that rewards you with thrashing bombast along the way, while showcasing this idiocentric keyboard kick that prodigiously portrays this juxtaposed yet jarring variety that while slaying, still very much methodically systematic with the precipitous songwriting musicianship that's demonstrated here.

"Îr in Flamma" fabricates enriching immersivity with more sophisticated yet methodical orchestrations that suffocates speakers with motivating stomps that supply wildly rushing sharpness with razor-ripping hooks, fretting an amplified overdose of some oscillating & crushing crescendos with strong yet rebellious outbursts of dark collisions in distorted but gnarly contortion while this satanic revolution surges with phenomenal speed until closing in an intertwining embodiment of evil empowering conundrums. While the overall concluding epic "Runagaltar" evidently makes use of the mouth harp, and those shamanic drum bongs I mentioned at the beginning which makes a fulfilling return where this sacrilege of a ceremony calms your soul after all of the concretely gritty assailments of metal artillery Grimwald has intrigiungly delivered in a hefty, authentic and captivating style which results with supreme skill.

Bottom line; I am compelled to say that WINTARNAHT certainly outdone himself for a one-man project, Grimwald definitely does not shy away from showing off his exceedingly talented masterclass of material that was just an enjoyably entertaining discovery all round.  This singular virtuoso has a spectacularly talented prowess which surely deserves discovering, all Black Metal followers can be assured that this is one not to be missed. Do check it out, even if you think it’s not your thing…you’ll be very surprised as I was if you are interested, as you should be! Breathtaking musicalities surely await! Excellent work.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Hriuwa
2. Urlagfrôwa
3. þe Hreôgot
4. þaz tuncel Grabahûfo
5. þez Hraban Swarzi Trahanûn
6. Sîn þiu Erþa
7. Firhazzêt Truhtîn
8. Îr in Flamma
9. Runagaltar
Grimwald - Vocals/Guitars/Bass/Keyboards/Lyre/Shaman drum/Mouth harp/Drum programming
Record Label: Talheim Recorde


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