Review: Wolfheart – Constellation Of The Black Light
Chilled but never frozen.
For the last few years I have been intently following the tranquil-yet-heavy Finnish melodeath scene. Of that collection, the band that has captured my imagination most is Wolfheart. Earlier this year the band signed with Napalm Records and announced a follow up to last year’s Tyhjyys, an album which made my personal top ten for 2017. This time Wolfheart returns with the album Constellation Of The Black Light. Has Wolfheart’s hasty return with new music been for the better or worse? Let’s find out.
The first track on the album is “Everlasting Fall”. This first song is also the album’s longest, clocking in at over ten minutes. The first two minutes of the song provide a tranquil and meandering intro to the song. After a false start, the real meat of the song starts just shy of three and a half minutes into the song. From there the beauty is lost and we’re subjected to heavy onslaught which is driven by Joonas Kauppinen’s drumming and Tuomas Saukkonen growls. The song “Breakwater” on the other hand doesn’t waste anytime and straight away hits the listeners with punishing blast beats. Eventually the onslaught does subside and we’re treated to the band’s more melodic side for the remainder of the song.
Coming in as the album’s third track is ‘The Saw”, relatively slow song which relishes in a balanced mix of heaviness and melody. This song is an excellent representation of Wolfheart’s sound. This particular song reminds me a lot of the song “World on Fire” on the band’s previous album. The following track, “Forge With Fire” has sort of an Amon Amarth feel to it, reminding me of Amon Amarth’s albums from the late 2000’s. While “Forge With Fire” has an Amon Amarth feel to it, its follow up, “Defender” is pure Wolfheart. Instead of blast beats setting up a frenetic energy to the song, we are given a simple, slower chugging riff which sets the pace and tone of the track. While it may not be the most intricate song on the album, its nice simple headbanger.
While “Defender” may have been a simple headbanger, “Warfare” has a bit more to it. The blast beats return on this track as does the band’s raw aggression. At times this track has the feel of a symphonic black metal track, while still be firmly entrenched in its melodeath roots. With the end of “Warfare” we are greeted by “Valkyrie” which starts the end of our journey. The best way to describe this track is its really a culmination of the various elements that have been present on the previous tracks.
With the release of Constellation Of The Black Light so soon after Tyhjyys I feared that this album might be lacking compared to previous releases. After listening through this album a couple times I can say that this isn’t the case, in fact it sounds like the band picked up where they left off with the last album. What Wolfheart has created is not just another fine album for their discography but also another fine addition to repertoire of the Finnish melodeath scene. As a result Constellation Of The Black Light scores 4.5 out of 5 flaming Toilets ov Hell.