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Wolfheart - Wolves Of Karelia review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
8.1

171 users:
7.82
Band: Wolfheart
Album: Wolves Of Karelia
Release date: April 2020


01. Hail Of Steel
02. Horizon On Fire
03. Reaper
04. The Hammer
05. Eye Of The Storm
06. Born From Fire
07. Arrows Of Chaos
08. Ashes


Winter. Bare. Snow. White. Cold. Yet dark, forlorn, brutal, unforgiving. Melancholy, war, death, hope, sadness, more hope, more death. A wolf. No, a pack of them. Wolves. The Wolves of Karelia. Defenders of the northern realm. Fighting the invaders. Coming for you, coming for us all.

Is Tuomas Saukkonen ever back with a bang in 2020! After the revival of the Dawn Of Solace project, which dropped the excellent album called Waves, his main outlet unleashed one masterful release. With consistency as the key to their sound, Wolfheart is slowly building their legacy with Wolves of Karelia. Nothing extravagant here, just perfectly executed melodic death metal stripped bare to the fundamentals, yet augmented in a tasteful manner.

The formula hasn't exactly evolved over the years, but it has grown album after album to become one of the most recognizable sounds in the field. Wolfheart have long established themselves as a prime outfit from Finland. As a matter of fact, the whole thing can be seen as a more in-depth and comprehensive exploration of the song "Ghost of Karelia" from Winterborn.

Songs such as "Horizon on Fire", "The Reaper", "The Hammer" or "Born from Fire" will continue to solidify that status with their uncomplicated punch, blatant energy and overall head-banging inducing structures.

By bringing session guitarist Vagelis Karzis - of Rotting Christ fame - into the fold, Wolfheart have found the perfect complement to Tuomas. Besides that, the core of the band remains unchanged with Joonas Kauppinen banging the drums expertly and Lauri Silvonen plucking that bass with flair and scary efficiency. And, of course, Tuomas as the front man, kick-ass guitar player and growler-in-chief.

Wolves of Karelia is a joyride of aggression and intention. Eight tracks for 41 minutes of blast-packed music revolving around that historic war of 1939 fought in the remote lands between Russia and Finland. Despite all that, the occasional undertone of positive light can be found in Tuomas writing, which is not unlike the classical music of Jean Sibelius that helped shaped Finland's national identity. Obviously, Sibelius "Karelia Suite" comes to mind.

As the black-and-white album design suggests, Wolves of Karelia is a bare-bone, direct-hit-to-the-face kind of record. Devoid of niceties but full of dark melodies, strength, violence and beauty all at once. Tight rhythms and darkened themes coupled with haunting vocals turn one of the most anticipated albums of the year into a solid as granite monolith of melodic death metal.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Production: 9





Written on 26.04.2020 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 93 users
26.04.2020 - 10:43
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Really enjoyable album, but I really liked the change of pace that Dawn Of Solace brought. Wish he would start reviving more of his projects, since he's a pretty versatile musicians, and that doesn't show properly with just Wolfheart.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


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26.04.2020 - 11:30
metalbrat

Why so less for Originality. I think Toumas has maintained the originality of Wolfheart albums. Problem is when you compare it with his other projects. Anyhow i likes it. Solid album. Songs you have mentioned are my favourites. Especially Hammer.
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In the beginning I was made of clay. Then I bit the apple and they changed me to metal 🤘
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26.04.2020 - 11:37
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by metalbrat on 26.04.2020 at 11:30

Why so less for Originality. I think Toumas has maintained the originality of Wolfheart albums. Problem is when you compare it with his other projects. Anyhow i likes it. Solid album. Songs you have mentioned are my favourites. Especially Hammer.

I think it's because it's not that far off from being a carbon copy of previous releases.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


2021 goodies
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26.04.2020 - 13:11
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by RaduP on 26.04.2020 at 11:37

Written by metalbrat on 26.04.2020 at 11:30

Why so less for Originality. I think Toumas has maintained the originality of Wolfheart albums. Problem is when you compare it with his other projects. Anyhow i likes it. Solid album. Songs you have mentioned are my favourites. Especially Hammer.

I think it's because it's not that far off from being a carbon copy of previous releases.


well yes but same time new music from him can be skepitc because he always somehow copy things
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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26.04.2020 - 16:54
Dream Taster
The Enemy Within
Written by RaduP on 26.04.2020 at 11:37

I think it's because it's not that far off from being a carbon copy of previous releases.

Exactly for that reason.
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26.04.2020 - 19:31
metalbrat

Written by RaduP on 26.04.2020 at 11:37

Written by metalbrat on 26.04.2020 at 11:30

Why so less for Originality. I think Toumas has maintained the originality of Wolfheart albums. Problem is when you compare it with his other projects. Anyhow i likes it. Solid album. Songs you have mentioned are my favourites. Especially Hammer.

I think it's because it's not that far off from being a carbon copy of previous releases.

Yeah...I haven't seen him doing much experiments with his style except in RoutaSielu project where he deviates to more pleasant side.
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In the beginning I was made of clay. Then I bit the apple and they changed me to metal 🤘
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26.04.2020 - 21:10
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I love intro, good descriptions
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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26.04.2020 - 21:18
OpethFlames

Solid album indeed. I don't mind the low originality score. If you enjoy Wolfheart, you will enjoy this release.
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27.04.2020 - 19:59
TenebrisAlas

Pure Wolfheart ! bit more agressive than before , no doubt one of the records of the year.
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14.09.2021 - 20:55
tintinb

There us a slight ominous tone to this album. Also does anyone else really love that album cover?
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