British black metal masterminds Winterfylleth are back with a gorgeous new album called The Reckoning Dawn that transcends the genre with brutally beautiful soundscapes.
After an all-acoustic showcase of folk inspiration on The Hallowing of Heirdom in 2018, Winterfylleth return to the harsh winds of black metal with The Reckoning Dawn. On this new album, the band continues to refine and expand upon their signature sound. While The Reckoning Dawn retains the howling desperation of black metal, it forges terrifying and lush soundscapes infused with classical orchestration.
For those new to Winterfylleth, the band includes Christopher Naughton (guitar/vocals), Nick Wallwork (bass), Dan Capp (lead guitar), Simon Lucas (drums), and Mark Deeks (vocals/synths). The band hails from Manchester, England. Their name is Old English for “Winter Full Moon” which is usually the first full moon of October. A fitting name for a British metal band whose music is inspired by the ancient history of England.
The opening song “Misdeeds of Faith” begins with a barrage of drums and guitars spitting with fury. The dreaded tri-tones embedded within this composition instill the sense of foreboding and menace. Christopher Naughton’s growling vocals capture feelings of agony, rage, and revenge. The chorus strikes up notes of an anthem of triumph accented by the choir of vocals. The elegance of Winterfylleth’s music shines through in the layering of chords, single-note flourishes, and charging drums.
The song “A Hostile Fate (The Wayfarer Pt. 4)” continues the Wayfarer saga that Winterfylleth began on 2010s The Mercian Sphere. Thematically, this song carries on the resonating overtones of the original motif, yet takes on a brilliant life of its own. The chorus rises in unvanquished glory as the layers of guitars are relentlessly pursued by the drums.
The folkish acoustic opening of “Absolved In Fire” is a nod back to the Winterfellyth’s previous all-acoustic release. The mournful strings are particularly poignant when you pair them with the stark and stunning cover art. As the electric guitars approach from the distance, you can imagine a gathering storm in the mountains of northern England as ironclad hosts meet in a battle for territory. You can feel the thunder of hoofs when the songs cranks up into a headlong rush of drums and guitar.
One of the best songs on The Reckoning Dawn is “A Greatness Undone.” It is hard not to think of At The Gates back on Terminal Spirit Disease. The music promotes visions of majesty which cascades into endless sorrow. The drums slow to a doom laden cadence as the guitars weave a tale of woe. This all gives way to reverbed guitar arpeggios that provide a dreamlike trance balanced by tribal drums. The song returns to a raging frontal assault to finish in a sweat soaked climax.
The Reckoning Dawn by Winterfylleth is an epic journey into the poetic grandeur of metal music. The band has crafted a stunning album that will take you on a voyage through time and space. You’ll imagine standing upon a windswept mountain as the world burns all around you. In this turmoil, there is also hypnotic ecstasy as the music consumes you.
The Reckoning Dawn is set for release on May 8.