Welcome to Part 9 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.
Both of today’s songs are folk-influenced examples of epic melodic death metal — albeit from widely separated corners of the world. They’re both highly infectious, too.
When Finland’s Tuomas Saukkonen announced about a year ago that he was shutting down all of his many musical projects — Before the Dawn, Black Sun Aeon, Dawn of Solace, Routasielu, and Final Harvest — it rocked me and many of his other fans, and not in a good way. But what Saukkonen put in their place turned out to be something quite excellent — a new solo project named Wolfheart. In the band’s debut album, Winterborn (reviewed here), he took the best elements from what he had done before and interwove them in this new work, while also finding ways to stretch his talents in new directions.
With lyrics full of imagery of ice and snow, deep woods and frozen lakes, wolves and warriors, darkness and frost — and with dramatic, sweeping, intense music that captures the magnificent purity of loss and longing, struggle, and sacrifice — the album is a collection of highly memorable anthems. Saukkonen has always had a talent for writing powerful, often folk-influenced melodies, and Winterborn has them in spades. Sometimes languid, sometimes erupting with compelling urgency, they are woven into the fabric of the music. The album is an epic achievement, and one of the best releases of 2013. Continue reading »