Oct 062013

I’ve already reviewed Winterborn, the debut album by Wolfheart, which is the new solo project of Finland’s Tuomas Saukkonen (ex-Before the Dawn, ex-Black Sun Aeon). In a nutshell, I think it’s one of the year’s best albums. In case you want to read the review, I’ll refer you here. But now you can hear the album for yourself.

Beginning today, the German Legacy magazine began streaming Winterborn in full. Go HERE (or here) to listen.

One more recent piece of Wolfheart news: The band has announced that the album will become available for digital download via iTunes, Amazon, and other online platforms on October 11. Physical copies can be pre-ordered here.

That’s it.  Go give this a spin.



  1. i’m going to skip listening to the album stream since i pre-ordered it and i want to have that rare experience of opening the packaging and listening to it for the first time in full. but i know it’s going to be awesome!!

    • Interesting point you raise.

      When you get some albums with 3 or more pre-release streams, when you finally get your hands on the full album, somehow it just isn’t as awesome, and I can think of a few examples where I’ve ended up gravitating towards the pre-release tracks more than the album as a whole (probably because they’re the strongest on the album), so that finally getting the album was somewhat of a let-down.

      But you raise an under-appreciated downside to the modern approach to digital music – missing out on that excitment of hearing an album all the way through straight off. Obviously there’s benefits as well – would I ever buy an album now having heard absolutely nothing of it? In all honestly, probably not. There’s got to be some kind of balance I guess.

      • i can’t always restrain myself from listening to pre-release streams, but i try, especially when it’s one of my favorite bands. and i still get that first time listen excitement with digital albums even though it’s not quite the same as tearing the wrapping off a new CD.
        if i absolutely can’t resist checking out a pre-release stream, i try to just listen to a couple tracks and stop. i’m all for progress and the digital revolution, but having grown up with vinyl and cassettes i still crave that giddy first listen experience.

        • I didn’t grow up with physical media, and I still feel that way. It wasn’t until very recently that I even contemplated buying music digitally (since my pre-metal days, at least), and even now, I still can’t bring myself to fork over $10 to iTunes – only Bandcamp, Amazon, or the like.

          • it’s funny, with every single change in music media, from compact discs to Spotify and Myspace to Bandcamp, i’ve said that i wouldn’t try it for various reasons. but i always end up giving them a shot and being glad i did.

            • I feel like with all of those (with the exception of Myspace; I’ve never experienced a time when it was relevant), I try it halfheartedly when it comes out (or maybe a little after), decide I don’t like it, then eventually come back around and like it. I tried Spotify and Bandcamp as soon as I could (though only the free versions, as I had no source of income), slowly stopped using them, then came back liking them more than ever – I even finally pay for things on Bandcamp, after year(s) of avoiding paid albums. I used to think that CDs were a bit dinosaur-ish (though as a younf child they were my option; I do remember a time before iTunes, if vaguely), but I’ve come to to like them the most above all other formats, as they provide a happy medium between the portablility of digital music and the tangibility and exquisite album artwork and layout of vinyl.

        • I’d be very curious what percentage of people feel as you do, and to what extent it’s a generational divide. I think in part because of the download culture, but not just because of that, there are a lot of people who won’t spend money for an album (if ever) unless they have the chance to hear all of it first. But I certainly know people like you, who tend to be older fans, who still want the sense of discovery that comes from listening to everything for the first time after getting the CD (or even just getting a legal download).

          I don’t remember seeing any kind of survey data that addresses this issue. And I don’t think it’s a settled question because I see some record labels that put up full streams before release and others that don’t, and sometimes it varies depending on who the band is. I think that the more well-known and popular a band, the less likely it is to see a full pre-release stream of their album. Maybe that’s because the band (and their label if they have one) have confidence that most fans know what the music is going to sound like, at least at a high level. When a band is less well known or is just putting out their first release, it seems more likely there will be a full pre-release stream.

          • Yeah, I’m probably just a curmudgeon 😉

            I’d be interested in seeing some data as well, and I suspect you’re right about the big bands not needing to provide full album streams as much, although a lot of them still seem to. For me it’s not strictly a physical/digital media divide – one album I can think of is when Mechina’s Empyrean dropped – there had been a track or two that the band had put online earlier, but way back in the recording process, and so the album was in many ways almost a complete unknown when it came out, which I think made the surprise of it so much more and I really appreciated that shock value. But on the other hand there’s also been albums that I’ve listened to in full online before deciding to purchase (which will probably be the case with Woflheart having listened through it all, good solid melodeath!).

            I never really got into the free music download culture. I don’t know if it’s just me, that having played an instrument or two I can appreciate the work involved and didn’t want to take it for free, or if it was maybe also influenced by living in NZ with its bad internet *. Also, iTunes was always spotty in its coverage of metal releases, and often I would find albums available internationally but not from the ‘NZ store’ of iTunes (which is one reason I hate it, but love bandcamp), so it hasn’t been until the last year or two that I’ve really started getting digital music with any regularity.

            * by way of explanation, without getting into the politics of it, the NZ state-owned telecommunications infrastructure was sold off in the 90s, creating a monopoly – which the government is still trying to dismantle – and so internet access and development has been way behind the rest of the world. It wasn’t until around the mid 2000s, circa 2005 I’d guess, that anything more than a dial up became affordable for your average person. The ‘dot-com’ boom came and went before internet even arrived here. And being an island there’s only a couple of undersea cables connecting us to the world so there’s always been data caps which limited the ability to download music or video for those on cheaper low-data plans.

  2. Thanks for the heads up on this. Listened to a few tracks, liked what I heard and pre-ordered the album. Mmmm mail from Finland in a few weeks! I’m 43, so grew up mostly with vinyl and some tapes. I mostly buy CDs from the local mom & pops… as much as possible. Support the band and support some local folks. I’m definitely old fashion and like to have something I can wrap my greasy mits around and look at and scrutinize. I go back and forth on whether or not to listen to pre-releases. For bands I know I like I’ll often just listen the “single” and wait for the CD. For bands I don’t know, it might take me a couple listens all the way through before I feel comfortable enough with the music that I want to drop $10-15 on the album.

  3. No vinyl available? 🙁

  4. I got my Wolfheart CD from Finland yesterday. It was a fast 7 days.
    Ripped it apple lossless, and put on my iPad. The quality is amazing. I had listened to the stream 3 times. His voice sounds even deeper and more intimidating.

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