Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn: Album Review

Winterfylleth plug back in in devastating fashion on The Reckoning Dawn to deliver another untouchable album of black metal.

Released: 8th May 2020

Label: Candlelight / Spinefarm

Format: CD / LP / Boxset / Digital

Winterfylleth’s acoustic endeavours have taken precedence over the past few years. The Hallowing of Heirdom was a wonderful, ethereal record that was played out in special venues across the land. The band released their first live album in The Siege of Mercia last year, but now, Britain’s finest black metal band give us The Reckoning Dawn.

Within two seconds of The Reckoning Dawn kicking in, the band set their stall out to slay. The opening riff to Misdeeds of Faith is the arguably the heaviest and most evil the band has sounded. If you ever wanted any clarification as to why this band have been universally lauded, this song is it.

Along with Misdeeds of Faith, Yielding The March Law also brings a certain fury that shows renewed intent from the band. It feels as if they have missed the heavier side of things. There are some intense snarls from frontman Chris Naughton too.

A callback to previous records comes in the form of A Hostile Fate. This is The Wayfarer Part 4, and it continues the odyssey from the previous three parts which span previous releases. This is classic Winterfylleth. It’s a heads down, neck wrecking headbanger of a song. Again, there are some fiendish sounding guitars and the trademark furore of drumming is ever present. There is also ‘that’ chanted choral motif that Winterfylleth have perfected over the years in the closing strains.

Whilst the acoustic guitars have been largely put away, there is still the folk laden laments that the band love however this time, it’s not an interlude, it’s part of one of the songs. Absolved In Fire has a gorgeous acoustic and string introduction before a swirling cauldron of guitars rises slowly through the beauty. There is a moment in the song where the tempo changes. It comes out of nowhere and is a little reminiscent of Enslaved; it will put a beaming smile on your face. Again, the choruses resonate atop the glorious guitars.

The Reckoning Dawn, the title track, has a little bit of a proggy Iron Maiden feel. The twin guitar work and chiming melody line is completely emphatic as the pace slows. This is the kind of section that Steve Harris can’t resist a Heaven Can Wait style singalong over! I’m pretty sure that Winterfylleth won’t miss this opportunity as well. It’s sure to become a staple of the bands’ repertoire.

A Greatness Undone follows the title track as the grandeur continues throughout another epic. Tempos slow and melodies manifest as the journey unfolds. The band deliver more choral expertise (arranged by Mark Deeks) around the orchestra. In a flash, Simon Lucas’ drumming smashes any aura of serenity before the song is ridden home.

Winterfylleth are masterful storytellers. The mystique and lore of the lyrics is just as much fun to get into as the actual music. It always feels like you learn something from each album. Although well versed in crafting music of this ilk, to continually produce albums of top quality output like this is no mean feet. Each and every aspect of the album is thought out with not a wasted second during a hefty duration.

Bonus material is contained in some editions of the album containing a cover of Enslaved’s Wotan, a bonus in Upon Gallows Frail and a synth song entitled In Darkness Beholden.

The Reckoning Dawn is another glorious triumph from the UK’s elite black metal band. It’s certainly apt to call this band a black metal band but in someways they’re more than that. The atmosphere, aura, and feel of this bands universe is enchanting.

The band have dates lined up for later in 2020. Hopefully the stars will align and we will all be able to hear these songs performed live.

Winterfylleth have previously been guest writers for At The Barrier. Nick Wallwork, bassist, wrote about his love of the music of Type O Negative; and Dan Capp, guitarist, wrote about his love of the music of Bathory (in his Wolcensmen guise).

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You can view the excellent lyric video for Misdeeds Of Faith below.

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