Reviewed: June 2016
Released: 2016, War Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
This is the new release from Greek black metal outfit Wolfhowl. A solo project, this band from the Ionian Islands has been going seven years, but has only released a debut EP and a split prior to this.
Taking a look at the cover, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is an atmospheric, ambient modern album, but instead, Faethon’s style is orthodox, dominated by chordal riffing, gruff, mid-pitched vocals and Fenriz-style rudimentary drum work. The Greek heritage is given away by the faster moments which see the more cathartic overall mood broken by echoing rasps and tremolo picked riffs reminiscent of Rotting Christ’s ‘Thy Mighty Contract’ era.
Lyrically, the EP carries a consistent theme in respect and awe of nature. Faethon’s words sound sincere if not a little hackneyed. The spoken word delivery on ‘Aenos (The Great Mountain)’ feels weak and drags the pace of the song, but, by contrast, when Greek language is used on ‘Κάθαρσις (Catharsis) ‘, the spoken declarations sound more poignant and powerful, helping to make this a much more convincing and strong track, and my favourite of the four too.
This EP feels like an authentic labour of love, another DIY effort in the one-man band black scene, however, it mostly lacks the bite and dynamics that the genre demands. The addition of atmospheric keyboards could have added a new dimension to each and every one of these tracks, as with just guitars, drums and basic growls, everything feels a little elementary at times. Nevertheless, the band does display some potential, and is one to check out for today’s black metal traditionalists.
Review by Jarod Lawley
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