• Emil

Winter Martyrium

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

WOLFHEART – Winterborn  (2013), Independent

As the winter’s solstice is near, and with that the official beginning of winter, what better time to celebrate … the jolly fat man in his red suit, the hard working – toy making elves and the ever prancing reindeer! Well … not so fast! In the current scenario: the fat man choked on a GMO gingerbread cookie and died, the elves were actually young children forced into slave labor in some southeast Asian sweatshop, and Sarah Palin and the Trump bros hunted down all the reindeer, so they are now extinct … Oops!

So, all this puts us in a little bit of a pickle. There’s only one other way to celebrate the forthcoming of winter: straight outta Lapland – cue … “Winterborn”!

Tuomas Saukkonen recorded “Winterborn” as a one-man project under the moniker WOLFHEART, releasing it in October 2013. As Tuomas personally related to us, during an exclusive interview (surrounding the recent release of their latest opus, “Constellation of the Black Light”): “(..) Wolfheart was never meant to be just a solo project but wanted to focus completely alone on the music with the debut.” The very talented musician performs all instruments, including physical drums, and sang on all tracks this release, while guitarist Mika Lammassaari laid out some mighty great solos, a perfect match to the rhythm tracks layered underneath. Shortly after the album’s release, in 2014, Tuomas asked Mika, bassist Lauri Silvonen and drummer Joonas Kauppinen, to join the band. This unchanged lineup recorded three additional full-length albums, to this day.

As far as the deep winter connection, as willingly explained by Tuomas during our interview: “With the production I always aim for cold, harsh but still beautiful and massive result. Those 4 words also describe Finnish winter perfectly. Also many of the different themes still connect to winter in the lyrics even when the actual song is not about winter itself.” This strong winter connection remained the constant theme on all of the band’s sequential releases, whilst properly tagged as “Winter Metal.” The lyrics on “Winterborn” are very “visual”: the blood splattered snow is vividly tangible, with all elements epically dictated by the majestic wall of dense music. Tuomas’ “no rush” vocal delivery adds authority and gravity to the songs’ structure. The acoustic instruments, guitar and piano, cleverly positioned at key moments in the compositions, augment the depth of the intensely textured songwriting.

Reach A Higher Ground That Reveals The Realm Under Your Might White Kingdom Of Frost And Ice

“Winterborn” is an album that I’ve always wanted to write about. A debut album from a band that I consider to be at the pinnacle, so far, of this millennium’s metal underground! Winter (Metal) is here!

Originally published on Blessed Altar Zine.

© 2018 by Emil Chiru

#WOLFHEART #review #winter #WinterMetal #Finland


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