Wolcensmen – Fire In The White Stone: Album Review

Label: Indie Recordings

Formats: CD / LP / DD

Released: 20th September 2019

Following the success of Wolcensmen’s debut album, Songs from the Fyrgen, Dan Capp (also of Winterfylleth) is back with the highly anticipated follow up. Fire in the White Stone contains eleven brand new dark, mythological folk hymns.

The music contained herein is superb. With assistance from Winterfylleth bandmates Mark Deeks and Chris Naughton, there are spine tingling choral vocals throughout. Haunting, ethereal, moving, lamenting, and foreboding are just a fraction of the superlative descriptions you could throw at the moods created. On top of that, cellist supreme, Jo Quail adds her unique flourishes to the overall texture of the album. Aslak Tolonen of Nest contributes kantele and Jake Rogers of Visigoth and Gallowbraid contributes flute. This all combines to combine a superbly rich tapestry of music.

Album opener, Foreboden / A Gainsaying, enters with a serenely layered vocal harmony before dramatic drums ensure the song reaches for the sky. The soaring nature of the album continues with lead single Lorn & Loath.

“As a listener, I prefer the journey of a cohesive album, and as a writer I prefer to have some kind of larger framework for my lyrics.”

Dan Capp

Classical sounding guitars permeate throughout the album but the use of synth, contributioned from German maestro Grimrik, add so much to the landscape of the album. Of Thralls & Throes is a prime example of this. It pulses deeply and sounds like something from Tolkien’s bibliography, sound tracked by John Carpenter. It’s a delightful mix that really challenges you and shows the depth and cinematic scope of the album.

The Swans Of Gar’s Edge allows the renewed confidence and ability that Dan has in his vocals to shine through over a simplistic and undulating guitar melody.

Creating a world within music is something that Dan Capp excels in. For Fire In The White Stone, Dan forged a story, crossing traditional archetypes with his own philosophical explorations, and then set about composing the concept album. To fully realise the folk-tale, Dan has written a short-story to accompany the music, making this an elaborate and unique release.

To help realise Dan’s vast vision, he drafted in John A. Rivers – known for his work with Dead Can Dance – to produce the album. It’s this production and atmospheric wherewithal that is another vital moving cog that helps bring the album to life.

“Wolcensmen is all about atmosphere, and when I think of the most atmospheric recordings I’ve ever heard, the first that comes to mind is ‘Within the Realm of a Dying Sun’. I remember first hearing it, and that feeling of almost being able to step inside of the mix, as spacious as it is. So John was really the holy grail of producers as far as Wolcensmen is concerned, and I’m very grateful to have worked with him on this album.”

Dan Capp

On top of the music, the story and the production, David Thiérrée was chosen to illustrate the story for the cover art. It’s an elaborate cover and one that will no doubt look truly stunning as part of the book and vinyl release.

Fire in the White Stone is an epic album. The vision of Dan Capp is to be lauded on every level. You can really get lost in this album musically, lyrically, artistically, thematically and mentally. It is an album worth investing in and submitting too.

If you are a fan of Ulver, Empyrium, Wardruna or Dead Can Dance (amongst others), this is essential listening.

Fire In The White Stone, is available to pre-order now.

You can also peruse the wares of Dan’s band merchandise site, Blood Fire Merch, here.

Wolcensmen: Website / Bandcamp / Facebook / Instagram

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