Winterfylleth - The Mercian Sphere review

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Band: Winterfylleth
Album: The Mercian Sphere
Release date: July 2010

01. Gateway To The Dark Peak / The Solitary One Waits For Grace (The Wayfarer Pt I)
02. Awakens He, Bereft Of Kinsmen (The Wayfarer Pt II)
03. The Fields Of Reckoning
04. Children Of The Stones
05. The Ruin
06. The Honour Of Good Men On The Path To Eternal Glory
07. To Find Solace... Where Security Stands (The Wayfarer Pt III)
08. When The Woods Were Young
09. A Valley Thick With Oaks
10. Defending The Realm

United Kingdom's black metal act Winterfylleth hasn't been around for so long, counting 3 years of life they returned with another strong album, their second one, The Mercian Sphere. This doesn't happen that often for a new underground band, usually the first album if it is very good it appears like an explosion and afterwards you get generic works that have something to say, yet they are not capable of blowing your mind. Winterfylleth seem to know what they're doing, they have black metal flowing in their veins and they prove it once again through their compositions.

The cover artwork with the glorious landscape and the sun hiding behind the clouds lending a golden aesthetic to the overall scenery presents an epic approach, something that is quite vivid in their music. You can't call them raw, but they do have a sharper edge. An immense sense of melody through powerful and imposing guitars that forge a massive everflowing river of violent harmony is omnipresent through the vast soundscape, guitars that dance macabre inbetween the epic and desperate faces of the battle with the ideal rhythm section ensemble. You will find yourself maneuvering amidst grandeur, triumph, loss, solitude, menace and serenity. There you are, in "A Valley Thick With Oaks", you will lose yourself inside "The Fields Of Reckoning", you will meet the "Children Of The Stones" and last but not least, you won't stop "Defending The Realm".

The atmosphere the band tends to evoke owes its existence at every single instrument partaking in the overall outcome, you will sense it as the album flows, after all it's 68 minutes long, it's more than enough to feel the strength of the unity the talented and inspired musicianship holds. Everything's here, the railway riffing that makes you lose yourself in its neverending flow that unfolds in the battlefield, the pulsating bass lines, the soul-breathing drums & percussion, the acoustic passages that offer a more traditional folkish tone, the clean chanting vocal lines and the shrieking alternate of war cry screams that echo over the landscape. Everything seems to be in the right place at the right time for the right reason, Winterfylleth give you the impression that they know what they're doing; and they definitely do.

The Mercian Sphere is a citadel of stories forlorn that somehow invaded the band's inspiration and got at the surface in the most appropriate way, if you're searching for something epic and at the same time internal, powerful but melodic as well, fierce yet gentle, then Winterfylleth are here to blow your mind.

Highlights: "The Wayfarer Part I & II" which open the album in the most ideal way, "The Ruin" that torns the whole place apart, the two ten-minute magnum opuses "The Honour Of Good Men On The Path To Eternal Glory" and "The Wayfarer Part III", the grandiose and unerring "A Valley Thick With Oaks" that leaves you speechless, the "that's the spirit" ending composition "Defending The Realm".

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Written on 13.10.2010 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."


Comments: 6   Visited by: 236 users
13.10.2010 - 01:00
Account deleted
I still like the debut more than this but it's still a nifty album with a lot of depth to it. Nicely reviewed!
13.10.2010 - 06:20
A good album but a little too hyped imo. Fairly average riffs and its all very repetitive. The thing I love most about this album is the acoustic sections, Children of the Stones, The Ruin and on When The Woods Were Young were the highlights.

I will kill you so hard you will die to death.
13.10.2010 - 11:34
Merchant of Doom
Listening to it now.... to me, it's a great album... but I agree, can be repetitive... it's 68 minutes long... I thought I'd never complain of too much of a good thing!
24.10.2010 - 19:42
How could I never heard of the second album of this awesome band?, I'm getting old
28.06.2012 - 17:40
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Cool stuff, need to finish the whole thing though.
Checkout my band here!
12.02.2014 - 21:58
A more mature and better offering than the debut.

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