Monday, September 10, 2012

Winterfylleth: The Threnody of Triumph (2012)

Wolves in the English Throne Room

I first read about Winterfylleth in Terrorizer, when they were drowning the band’s sophomore album in barrels of EPA (English Praise Ale). Since they’re a British rag, it’s easy to see why they would get their knickers knackered for a band that reinterprets Wolves in the Throne Room for the English countryside.

They do a fine job of it. It’s melancholy black metal in the WITTR style, but with English folk melodies. They’re memorable and affecting. It’s broken up by a couple of short, pure folk tracks. It’s tough to say much more about it, because the market for this kind of thing is flooded, and you should know exactly what to expect. You don’t even have to leave the “W” page of the metal listings to find more (Wodensthrone immediately comes to mind).

What comes next will sound like a completely unnecessary description. Just in case anyone has managed to avoid listening to every band in this style, I’ll go over it briefly anyway. They use tremolo riffing to create slowly-moving melodies inspired by local folk music. The drums are fast. In fact, all the instruments are playing a whole lot of notes, but the same notes are hit so many times consecutively, and they change the notes so slowly, that the sum effect is like they’re playing whole notes instead of sixteenth notes. So it comes out at a doom metal pace. The vocals are strained, rasping screeches. These guys happen to throw in the occasional baritone clean singing in a couple places as well.

And it’s a good example of the style. It even manages to keep me interested for the attention-stretching 65 minute length of the album. But there are a lot of good examples of the style, and this is not my favorite. It is above average.

So I have to ask myself: Do the English actually get more out of this than the rest of us? Does Panopticon’s Kentucky, one of the most deeply-affecting records of the last few years, fall flat to foreign ears?

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Preorder/ Buy The Threnody of Triumph (released in the US September 25)


  1. I haven't heard this, but your description makes me feel like I'm probably fine with skipping it.

  2. Well, I don't know. You really liked Wodensthrone, according to your review . . . so if you need more of that, this is perfect. To me, some of it seems to run together.

  3. That's true, but since I've never really cared for WitTR I think that Wodensthrone may have been an exception.

  4. Maybe not even an exception, since Wodensthrone is definitely closer to traditional black metal than WITTR/Winterfylleth. I cited them because they do bear a strong resemblance to this. Winterfylleth is kind of halfway between the other two.