Release Date: 13th September 2019
Label: Candlelight Records
Formats: CD, CD/DVD, Ltd. LP
Winterfylleth continue to be one of the leading lights of the UK metal scene. Through their last studio LP, The Hallowing of Heirdom, they took their heritage themed metal off road for an acoustic diversion. It was no less glorious and patriotic, and the live shows they performed for that album were nothing short of haunting and spectacular in some wonderful venues.
The Siege of Mercia celebrates the band in their more traditional live setting. In 2017, the band played their first ever main stage slot at the prestigious Bloodstock Festival and this album is a document of that event.
Comprising 5 live songs, and one bonus studio remix, The Siege Of Mercia shows Winterfylleth plugged in and at their bombastic best. Each song will be well known to fans of the band, but if you’re unfamiliar with the band, this would be a ‘hits’ set.
Three fifth’s of the set is taken from the bands second LP. It’s clear that the band love these songs and relish delivering them. A Valley Thick With Oaks is truly epic as the band lead the crowd in chorus amongst dense guitars, furious drumming and an emotional guitar melody from the strings of Dan Capp (also of Wolcensmen).
The Swart Raven and Whisper Of The Elements make up the rest of the set from Threnody Of Triumph and Divination of Antiquity respectively.
“Sadly, time is short and our songs are long,” proclaims singer and guitarist Chris Naughton before an emphatic Defending The Realm closes out this live set. The duelling growled vocals from Naughton and bassist Nick Wallwork are terrifyingly passionate.
Passion is something that Winterfylleth are not short of. Their genuine thanks for the chance Bloodstock Festival took on them in previous years, and the support they’ve had from fans and their labels comes across with an austere humility.
The Siege Of Mercia is a superb snapshot of a band in perfect stride. Their musical cohesiveness and willingness to take chances in their releases is to be lauded. Who knows, maybe after the inclusion of a synth version of Children Of The Stones (the band’s usual walk-on music), we might be having to gear up for the synth album!