Winterlore’s new, self titled, album is the second for these American black metallers, who have developed and pursued an unhealthy obsession with second wave, Nowegian black metal stylings. This is no way a bad thing, but it pretty much sums up what you can expect. The album artwork is very cool though. It’s out now on Slaughterhouse Records.
Opener ‘In the Frozen Forest’ has swirling winds, scathing frostbitten riffs and a dry as dust production, coupled with primal rasping shrieks. But within a couple of minutes, you realise ‘who the fuck needs originality’ when bands are capable of enhancing the blueprints with this kind of quality. Sure it feels derivative on the surface, but with repeated listens the icy bleakness becomes a home, a shell in which to huddle from the darkness. Cut the veins of ‘Spires of Ascension’ and Darkthrone and old Satyricon will bleed out, while the expansive moments in ‘Lands of Boreal Suspension’ are pure Burzum-esque.
Whether burning at fiery speed, or sprawling majestically over snowy forests, Winterlore’s take on classic black metal is both enjoyable and evocative. Whilst not taking us anywhere new, Winterlore’s frozen landscapes are old friends that were due a visit. Cold, savage and thrillingly old school, ‘Winterlore’ is a record that will keep long time black metallers warm at night.