Satanic Warmaster
Fimbulwinter


4.5
superb

Review

by blou52 USER (16 Reviews)
July 29th, 2019 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Melody and speed combine together to create what is arguably the best album in Satanic Warmaster’s arsenal.

When a black metal fan thinks of Satanic Warmaster, they probably think of the 2005 fan favorite album, Carelian Satanist Madness. With it’s haunting atmosphere and strong musicianship, it solidified who Satanic Warmaster was and made them a force to be reckoned with. After over a decade of this same style, band mastermind Warwulf decided to change things up with the release of Fimbulwinter . The changes this album made may have lost a few die-hard fans, but it also made new ones.

Perhaps the most important aspect of Fimbulwinter is it’s guitarwork. While still keeping true to the black metal sound, Werwolf upped the tempo and added in much more melody than on previous releases and, as a result, the rawness of earlier releases has mostly gone away. While this could have been a problem, the quality of riffing replacing it is a more than acceptable atonement. Werwolf took charge of all songwriting for Fimbulwinter but had session guitarist Nattravn to help with guitar duties. Thankfully, both guitarists know their way around their instrument exceptionally well. Backing up the exceptional guitar playing are keyboards, jointly handled by Warwulf and Nattravn. Present on every track, their addition to the music can’t be understated. The guitars may take charge of the album, but on songs like “Funeral Wolves” and “Dargon’s Egg” the atmosphere is greatly heightened by the use of the keyboards.

Rather than play drums himself, Werwolf decided to bring back Vholm, who previously performed the drums on Carelian Satanist Madness , to handle all drumming on Fimbulwinter . Although it may not be as noteworthy as the guitar playing, the drumming never falters and supports the other instruments throughout the duration of the album. Then there is the basswork which adds depth and density to the album. Due to the cleaner production on the album, the bass can be easily heard which is a welcome and uncommon addition to a black metal album. . Rounding out the album are Werwolf’s vocals. As usual, his raspy screams are powerful and show that Werwolf puts a lot of effort into his music. As an added benefit, the vocals sound less forced and more natural compared to other Warmaster albums.

As previously mentioned, the production on Fimbulwinter is excellent as Werwolf chose to use a more modern approach to the production compared to his earlier work. Due to this, each note being played by the guitars can be clearly heard. Even though the production far exceeds what older albums had, that’s not to say that the guitars sound clean. A suitable amount of static and fuzz has been added to the guitars, keeping the glacial black metal atmosphere alive. The drum production is equally clean and allows the listener to hear all the drumwork without it drowning out any of the other instruments in the mix.. With the change in style that happened on this album, a better production job was needed.

In a genre as steadfast and unwavering as black metal, deciding to change your style can either be a disastrous move or a beginning of a new era. Luckily, Satanic Warmaster falls into the latter category. Fimbulwinter is a worthy progression for Satanic Warmaster, that I highly recommended. If melodic black metal is something you enjoy, then few choices as worthy as Fimbulwinter .



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user ratings (56)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
blou52
July 29th 2019


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Satanic Warmaster rules, this album rules. The vinyl is missing a (boring) 8 minute synth track

metalhead2425
July 29th 2019


322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rules m/

garas
July 29th 2019


2722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Band rules, album rules, great review.

"The vinyl is missing a (boring) 8 minute synth track." Take it back! *angry stare*

Digging: Gjallarhorn - Sjofn

blou52
July 29th 2019


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks! I'll give you this, the synth track here is better than either synth track on Burzum's third and fourth album.

garas
July 29th 2019


2722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nah, 'Tomhet' is untouchable. (My most favourite track ever!) Instead, I'd say: the few synth tracks by Werwolf are much better than many Burzum ambient tracks.

necropig
July 29th 2019


5840 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh shit

Digging: Vothana - Khng Bao Gi Np / Never to Submit

blou52
July 29th 2019


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't know man, Tomhet kept me from giving Hvis a 4.5. Although, Tomhet is better than Rundgang. Mortiis though.....

Hawks
July 30th 2019


73729 Comments


Band slayz. Still gotta hear this one. Awesome review bro. m/

Digging: Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast - Re-Mistressed

blou52
July 30th 2019


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You better get on it man, I almost guarantee you'll like it



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