Vera : There are still certainties in life. Since the debut album ‘The Ghost Of Heritage’ blew us away in 2008, English outfit Winterfylleth gave us a new album every two years in October. Their name refers to the month October in Old English, when the full winter moon throws shadows over the chilled landscapes. Those landscapes, history and heritage of England are traditionally honoured in the lyrics, that is also tenable for ‘The Dark Hereafter’, an album for the first time released by Spinefarm and the successor of the majestic ’The Divination Of Antiquity’ (2014).
Since then the band has expanded its fame by several tours and festival appearances. 2015 started in a fine way with a cover story in the infamous Terrorizer magazine, but around that time they also had to face the departure of guitarist Mark Wood. They found replacement in their long time artwork designer Dan Capp and in 2016 they focused on writing new songs. We are ready for a new bunch of epic, majestic black metal! They kick off in a maximum velocity and overwhelming manner with the rather short title track, yet the epic tinge is present. Brief but powerful. ‘Pariah’s Path’ is nine minutes long and earlier it could be found on the digipack of the previous album. They swallow the bait with no mercy, until we hear any acoustic guitars and atmospheric clean chants towards the end. That happens to be the trademark of Winterfylleth: they always relish their rigorous parts with serene beauty of introvert nature. The blackened heaviness continues in ‘Ensigns Of Victory’ until we arrive at the thirteen minutes long ‘Green Cathedral’ which turns into a… cathedral of a song. Here they really give us goose-bumps. Synths and fluttering plucking guitars build up an incredible melancholy and even when the black metal screams join in after four minutes, it remains slow, compelling and captivating. This is a delight in a majestic way, with later some serene clean vocals and a solemn spoken monologue as finale. Magnificent! The intense ‘Led Astray In The Forest’ is, with its clean vocals only, another direct hit, although it appears to be their own (beautiful) interpretation of ‘Capitel I: Troldskog Faren Vild’ from the ‘Bergtatt’ album of Ulver (1995). We hear a fine classical guitar solo in it and it really gets grandiose and dynamic. For the fifth time, Winterfylleth has created a mighty epic black metal album to enter the Autumn with heartfelt feelings.