Review by Jeff Maki
Finnish band Wolfheart’s debut album, “Constellation of the Black Light,” should put the extreme metal scene on notice. With one hand in the bucket of primitive black metal, Viking metal and melodic death of the late ’90s, and another grasping a bouquet of romantic doom, not only is the musicianship at an unexpected level for a debut, but Wolfheart also has the uncanny ability to write a fucking earworm of a song and a melody—epic, beautiful and heavy as hell. You should listen to “Breakwater” before we go any further:
“Breakwater” reminds me of classic Dark Tranquillity or In Flames, while “The Saw” (no, not a Whitechapel song) follows suit, except taking the “epic” to another level:
Not to discredit anyone in particular, but a lot of the extreme metal scene has become one dimensional: Either you are extreme beyond extreme, or bands have songs that are 10 minutes of brooding and atmosphere. Wolfheart takes the strengths of several subgenres of extreme metal and crafts its own sound. Instrumental passages, acoustics and ivories are present, yet they add different levels to the songs rather than completely overtaking or becoming them.
The album ends with the conquering sounds of “Warfare” and “Valkyrie,” both of which could be immediate Viking metal anthems, but in this context they are just Wolfheart—a band that has taken these aforementioned styles and emphatically claimed them as its own.
Tuomas Saukkonen: guitar, vocals
Mika Lammassaari: lead guitar
Joonas Kauppinen: drums
Lauri Silvonen: bass, backing vocals
September 28, 2018