Wolfheart
Winterborn


4.5
superb

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
November 5th, 2013 | 80 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An embodiment of the Scandinavian winter

Just as the snowy winter annually arrives in the Northern Hemisphere, every year for the last decade Tuomas Saukkonen has dispatched a new collection of Nordic metal. 2013 is no different, as Tuomas’ newest (and currently only) project Wolfheart now has a debut album to boast. Filled to the brim with cold melancholy, Winterborn is a logical next step for Saukkonen, who has continuously drifted towards darker and more wintry atmospheres throughout his career. An enchanting piece of melodic death/doom, Wolfheart’s debut works as both a summation of Saukkonen’s previous work and the intro to a new chapter. During the last seven or so years, mainly through his side-projects, Saukkonen has forged his very own sound to set himself apart from everyone else. That sound, made unique by the distinctly cold Scandinavian melodies and Saukkonen’s trademark harsh vocals, has finally been stretched to near perfection on Winterborn. While Saukkonen’s older works have been great in their own right for the most part, Winterborn features the best mix of the ingredients that have made his albums so endearing. The omission of clean vocals is made less noteworthy by how well the rest of the elements and instruments gel in these songs. A thick rhythm section is paired with vast melodies and occasional bursts of black metal, as Saukkonen’s emotive growls and supplemental instruments (violins, acoustic guitar, piano) take the mix to a whole new level from an emotional perspective. Winterborn grabs the listener with two hands, pulls him along, and then deserts him in a desolate Finnish forest covered in a thick layer of snow, where howling wolves and majestic elk roam free under the clear winter sky. It’s then up to the listener to journey through this magical wilderness in order to find a way back home, or to just find a way.

Saukkonen is one of those great artists who seemingly possesses a magic touch – any record featuring him is at worst listenable and at best outstanding. While fleshing out his sound, he has produced a number of solid albums during the years (Dawn of Solace’s The Darkness being a personal favorite of mine). Winterborn and Wolfheart in general seem destined to bring an end to Saukkonen’s current, side-project heavy era though, and look ready to introduce us to a yet uncertain but undoubtedly promising future. It is most probable that Saukkonen will continue to churn out melodic death/doom records akin to this one – he is, after all, so very good at it – but what kind of twists will they exhibit is to be seen. With Saukkonen cancelling all of his other projects for good and focusing solely on Wolfheart there is a feeling that even grander things are coming. For now though, Winterborn is the culmination of the sound that he has been trying to perfect since the inception of Black Sun Aeon in 2008, resulting in a stimulating record filled with towering melodies and harboring an inherent disposition to elicit many a replay. Gripping mental images of dark groves and snowy landscapes are bound to ensue when this album is playing and Saukkonen’s self-generated tag "winter metal" is indeed the best descriptor for Wolfheart. As gallant and soul-penetrating as a northern wolf staring back at you, Winterborn is one of the best melodic metal records to come out this year and to miss this independent release from Finland is to miss out big.



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user ratings (74)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2013


8497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Routa Pt. 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkO0JzvR8lg



The Hunt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzxkBoeNG4A



Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2013


6716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album stream - https://soundcloud.com/legacymagazin/sets/wolfheart-winterborn/s-5yfTN



Great album!

Digging: Spectral Lore - Voyager

Keyblade
November 5th 2013


16458 Comments


This looks sweet

Digging: Post Malone - Post Malone EP

RotheLorde
November 5th 2013


11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

An album with its moments.

TheSlenderMan
November 5th 2013


606 Comments


Good review brother, this sounds right up my alley.

TheSlenderMan
November 5th 2013


606 Comments


Meh, I don't like this. Good review though.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2013


8497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Aww, too bad, and here I was thinking this is one of those metal albums that could, in theory, be rather universally liked here.



Keyblade, you should like this a lot knowing your taste, and Voivod, you still planning on reviewing this as well or not?



I can't help but unconditionally love this album. Being from the north as well, it really speaks to me. Absolutely loving the melodies Saukkonen has put together.

Axl752
November 5th 2013


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review. I checked out some clips after reading and this album sounds amazing, Im gonna have to get this now.

Tyrael
November 5th 2013


21003 Comments


rules

Tyrael
November 5th 2013


21003 Comments


no it sucks

4.5/5

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 5th 2013


20756 Comments


the hunt is pretty cool, gonna have to spin the whole thing

Digging: The Kinks - Muswell Hillbillies

Tyrael
November 5th 2013


21003 Comments


Love u too

Apollo
November 5th 2013


10390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Liking this. Great review and thanks for the find Mr Styles!

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2013


8497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You are very welcome Apollo. PS: polar bear hugs to all of you

Tyrael
November 5th 2013


21003 Comments


Styles is the only active staffer that knows anything about metal so we should cherish him

Apollo
November 5th 2013


10390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ty - Agreed hard m/



This is kicking ass so far. I needed a fresh dose of melodeath/doom to kick winter into high gear.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 5th 2013


8497 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the support guys, it is ever-appreciated, though I must disagree with you here. Crysis, Voivod, Adam Thomas - we definitely have guys on the roster who know their way around metal.

tempest--
November 5th 2013


16221 Comments


sounds pretty trve

Gmork89
November 5th 2013


5784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is good in my ear holes. Great review brah

Asmodeuss1990
November 5th 2013


236 Comments


Will check it out :D



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