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Wolfheart – Wolves of Karelia Award winner

Wolfheart
Wolves of Karelia
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 09 April 2020, 5:54 AM

WOLFHEART is a 4-Piece Melodic Death Metal Band from Lahti, Finland. If you have not heard of this band you are probably living under one massive rock somewhere. This band has made some waves since 2013 and have become one of the vey best Melodic Death Metal bands out there. They were supposed to be here in Montreal for the Devastation of the Nation tour but it was rescheduled obviously because of the worldwide pandemic. They have made their mark rather quickly and have amassed a cult like following.

This is also the first album to feature Vagelis Karzis as lead guitarist after the departure of longtime axman Mika Lammassaari. I didn’t see much of a difference honestly and you have two very capable lead guitarist in their own rights. It really didn’t change anything in the dynamic of the band obviously and they truly continued their masterful work. In the world of Melodic Death Metal, I rightfully believe that there is three titans, three bands that really stand head and shoulders above anyone else and those bands are OMNIUM GATHERUM, INSOMNIUM and the aforementioned WOLFHEART. These bands are the heart and soul of the genre and have a continued legacy going on.

The vocals are deep growls along the lines with Old School Death Metal, although that the only element that truly relates to legitimate Death Metal honest. The guitar work is on point and quite fitting for the atmosphere of the opus. It’s less aggressive yet more somber than the previous release and more in the lines of ‘’Shadow World’’ and ‘’Tyhjyys’’. The last album was a bit of a letdown and a departure of what they had been doing but now they are definitely back on track as of the best Melo-Death bands in the world.

The band did it again, another masterpiece and they have once again proved their immense creativity and their musical maturity as well. You can feel the genuine sorrow and melancholy yet it’s somehow optimistic in a sense. Musically speaking, you have those heavy rhythm guitar riffs which build up nicely to this infernal structured chaos that is WOLFHEART. They are the epitome of the genre, they are gloomy but overwhelming.

Tuomas Saukkonen delivers his guttural growls like no other and he does it very well. There is however emphasis on the lyrics when it needs to be done. Sometimes he whispers, sometimes he screams but nothing is left to randomness. His performance might be his best at the helm of the band and he has quite the range and his voice seems to be tailored for the music they offer. His voice is really highlighted on songs like ‘’Ashes’’ and ‘’The Hammer’’ but he shines throughout. You have some cleaner vocals here and there and those passages fit perfectly the overall mood the album and are employed precisely when they should.

WOLFHEART has proved itself to be of the greatest Finnish metal bands ever and this album is definitely, without a doubt an absolute masterpiece and something you need in your record collection. They reign supreme and the maturity of the band both lyrically and musically is outstanding. This album will stand out for years to come.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Hail of Steel
2. Horizon on Fire
3. Reaper
4. The Hammer
5. Eye of the Storm
6. Born from Fire
7. Arrows of Chaos
8. Ashes
Lineup:
Joonas Kauppinen – Drums
Vagelis Karzis – Lead Guitars
Lauri Silvonen – Bass
Tuomas Saukkonen – Guitars and Vocals
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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Edited 11 August 2020
 

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