Genre: Death Metal
Country: Finland
Label: Svart Records
Year: 2019

A few months back, I was re-listening Winterwolf’s debut album “Cycle of the Werewolf”, which was released in 2009, as I had initially discovered the band then due to my affection for their brother band Deathchain. As a side project, Winterwolf was focused purely on its own subjects in an almost nerdy way, and that was what made me love that record as well as the aesthetics of the artwork and their old school death metal style.

I wouldn’t expect a second album by this act, and that was the reason I was surprised when I first saw the minimalistic, and pretty awesome front cover for this new Winterwolf album. It’s title “Lycanthropic Metal of Death” made it clear that they haven’t changed their minds at all since ten years ago, offering new music with the same essence as what they initially did with their first effort. Getting into stuff like these, one has to keep in mind on the nature of such a project and where their efforts are targeted.

Adding up to the classic Winterwolf class, the tracks are fueled with simple chainsaw riffs boosted through a harsh, cutting production that is often used in old school death of our days. It is not complicated music-wise, presents a collection of guitar melodies per track and alongside that, there’s always the typical death metal growls without any deviations from that. The band doesn’t care to play too fast either, instead it throws out groove after groove with only a few speedier moments. The vocals are gnarly and distinct, while the sound of the album doesn’t differ much from their debut, except from being, as a whole, slightly clearer.

Some of the track titles also reminded me of the debut (“nataS fo tsaeB” with “thisishispit”, “All Shall Be Eaten” with “At Dawn they Eat”), with some possible distant references to other bands with “Witch Finder General” and “Kathadian Doom”. In total, I don’t think the experience of listening to this will match the one I had when I listened to “Cycle of the Werewolf’, even though they are really close and have several banger tracks, with highlights being “Devouring Entities Devour” and “I Am the Beasts of Death”.

I do not believe “Lycanthropic Metal of Death” is to be compared with artists that push the genre to extreme new paths, instead it’s a well written and direct album with enjoyable tracks and an appealing concept. Winterwolf’s ideas are still on the spot, and they have created a solid old school death metal record that fits to the likes of people into the dirt and the stench in their music. Time will tell on how much this will stand, but this band has found its way into the gallery of underground gems, now with not one but two albums. See you again in 2029.

4/6