Review Summary: Wolfchant toss out a few good tracks amongst mediocrity then skulk, tail between legs, back to their dens as Folk Metal could-have-beens
1 of 2 thought this review was well written
As forgettable as this album is, flushing it down the toilet is unwise – You may find you get a blockage in the pipes. The plumber checked out mine and he determined damnation as the source of the problem.
Wolfchant have been gyrating around the Epic Metal wheel for a number of years, dabbling in the genres that define the ‘epic’ sound, looking for the break to becoming a player in the Pagan Metal romp. Black Metal, Melodic, Folk Metal; it all comes under the same dog-eaten banner for Wolfchant. And they’ve had successes on releases such as A Pagan Storm and Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands. But an up-and-coming band is only as good as it’s last album. Unfortunately, this LP does not deliver as the last one did. Truth be told; it provides a few nice moments but is otherwise disappointing.
As soon as a band is labelled ‘Folk Metal’, they gain instant popularity. It is, after all, a very accessible genre for fans of any genre, unquestioned fetish or persuasion. Determined Damnation is the Pamela Anderson of Folk Metal. Yeah, we can appreciate the image, but we all know deep down, they’re fake. Melodic Black Metal has been plastered with a Folk metal coating that sounds knowingly false as if they chopped up sections of the tracks to desperately stuff in the Viking atmosphere admired by the young metalheads. Accordion, flute and acoustic guitar are sporadically dangled in front of the listener to try to achieve that undeserving popularity. The result is a solid, like concrete, yet boring, like concrete, melodic Folk sound, which falls short of matching the former outputs from this seemingly talented band. Determined Damnation is not what was expected from these Germans, who, sadly, have significantly under-performed.
Drumming is up to par, as are the guitars and bass. The musicianship is not too shabby either. So what is it missing? Production, vocals and originality. 8 seconds. 8 seconds of silence in between the ‘build-up’ sleezy intro and the first real metal track, World In Ice. The producer must be as f*cked up as the vocalist (more on that later) to allow an 8 second gap in between those tracks. We sit there thinking, “Why didn’t I bring along my newspaper for the adjournments?” Besides that little niggling hate, the production genuinely is shoddy. Vocals have been pushed to the background and don’t carry the effectiveness heard on A Pagan Storm. The song structure is repetitive and melodramatic. By the fourth proper listen, you’re still only digging a couple of riffs and the thought of coffee spurting out your nostrils when you first heard those clean vocals. Which means…
Wolfchant could do with a better vocalist. The black vocals peter out of the speakers with the aggression of a wooden doorknob, growing tiresome after the second track. The cleans are embarrassing and display only too well the reason macho-warrior choirs are saved for the boot-camp parading ground. This deliverance could be redeemed had it not been for the miserable penning of the lyrics. Manowar write better than this. Apparently, homosexuality in metal is not just reserved for Power metal, with lyrics like: “No-one holds my hand. And my heart is full of pain. Look in my eyes. I’m not a warrior I’m a man.” That song right there, Fate of the Fighting Man, opened with a terrific riff and rhythmic guitar work, before it was swallowed into the repetitive drudgery seen on other tracks. By that time, the black metal screeches detroy the scene and a proper burial for track number 6 is made when that nuisance of a chorus line fires up. Come on, what happened to the ‘Let’s appease our anger by making the sovereigns vomit out their tongues and yield their fetid entrails’ kind of attitude that lay down the groundwork for any band brave enough to call themselves ‘Viking’? Until the End injects a cute little clapping/electro thing into the mix which would be likely found on Top 40 chart pop songs.
The last track is very enjoyable, aptly titled, Under the Wolves’ Banner. Good times are to be had if you sing your own lyrics to these songs so you don’t hear what the vocalist is crapping on about. But once we realised that the “Credit Crunch” was not the latest offering from Kellogg’s, it was time to savour our precious coins. So don’t bother buying this unless you’re a real fan. Instead, sacrifice these guys to the Swine Flu Gods and pray they give us a Pagan Metal band that induces headbanging, mass consumption of ale and those brief moments of thought where you wish you were a viking re-enactor (we all know you have them).
Wolfchant’s “Determined Damnation” is out April 24, 2009 via Massacre Records
Listened to the last song, it was really bad...don't know what happened to these guys since A Pagan Storm (which honestly was average besides a few good tracks), but definitely won't be checking this out. Good review if a little rough around the edges.
^ that proves that you're ratings are way too high. If you aren't blown away, and it's not a good sign, why the 3.5? I think you have to understand that a 2 is not all doom and gloom, it's just that this album is lacking.
Seriously, i usually never create accounts on these kinds of websites, because honestly, i do not care.
But after getting Wolfchants latest album, and been listening to it allmost 24/7 for a couple of days now, i just couldent hold back.
You totally ripped my favorite band of all times to shreds, saying that they litterally suck donkey balls, and, especially their latest album.
Fuck off will you?
A Raven's Flight, which i deem the best track on the new album, and the best track they ever made, is one of the most epic songs i ever heard, especially the intro, and the opening riff.
And guess what, you don't even have it in the rewiew.
And criticising the vocalist like you do? Well, that's just so extremely stupid.
Fist off, they don't shove the vocals in the background, no, on the contrary, i think that it sounds even clearar on this album that they have done on previous ones, so maybe, instead of judging the producer and vocalist, you should go out and get a proper speaker set, with some good mids and tweeters, instead off the budget crap you seem to use.
Wolfchant is, and allways will be Epic Pagan Metal.
I Love it for their uniqueness, no other band sounds quite like them, their melodies, that you totally forgot to mention in your shitty rewiew, and for their vocalist, who have an unique, and brutal voice, that should not, for anything in the world, be changed, or replaced!
So Fuck You!
Best regards from a fuckin' angry Wolfchant fan, that hope you will get eaten alive by a pack of starving wolves infront of the eyes of your family!
PS. Usually i don't even consider writing hatemail like this, but i just couldent help myself after reading this shit.
I usually never reply to idiots like you but I feel like I should since it is my review.
1. Raven's Flight is the so-called best track?? According to who? You? Exactly. I can't be accountable for everybody's personal favourites in the review when it is purely subjective.
2. you have supposedly been listening to it 24/7 for the last two days. Most people who have a refined taste in music only listen to albums once or twice before rating it because they can willingly concentrate on th music and access the musicianship on first listen. It is only complex musicians that need repeat plays to enjoy. Therefore, it proves you are one of those people that listen to cds over and over until you have no choice but to accept what you hear. One of the main reasons why I have a tolerance albeit an appreciation to artists such as Ricky Martin, Gregorian Chants, and Peaceful Passionbel, because it's the music my parents listened to over and over when I was growing up. I'm sure if anybody listened to this over and over they would think it was great because they grow use to it.
3. The vocals are really boring and I'm not going to argue with you because you have the idiocy to blame my speakers.
4. The melodies here are less than impressive and the fact that you call the vocals "brutal" shows that you know nothing about what you're talking about. Ever heard of any of the quality Folk Metal bands? Moonsorrow, heard of them? Equilibrium, ring any bells? Agalloch, Turisas, Finntroll, Tyr, Thyrfing, Korpiklaani, Ensiferum? If you have heard of these bands you will know what real Folk Metal is...
Ugh, now i feel all stupid, because now i got reminded how stupid it is to argue over the internet -_-
Anyways, why i think A Raven's Flight is because it gives you the epic feeling, that their music is supposed to give you, Epic Pagan Metal.
But ofcourse, you are correct, thats just what i think.
Moving on to number two, yeah well, i guess you're right there too, i did listen to Wolfchant a lot, but thats only because i have yet to find a band that sounds just like them, or similar to them.
Bringing in point number 4 here a little, i know, and have listened to all of those bands you listed, with the exception of agalloch, which i will give a listen.
However, of the bands you listed, only Fintroll & Ensiferum appeal to me, and those two are very different from the Wolfchant sound, even though they are marvellous bands.
I didn't blame your speakers for " boring " vocals, i blamed them for what you refered to as them being drowned in the music, not being clear, which i very much think they, especially on their new album.
I gave Heather Foray a listen, and yeah, it's very good, and does infact sound quite a bit like Wolfchant, so for that, i thank you.
I guess i owe you an apology for ranting on like that, but that doesen't mean i have to agree with you.