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For several years now, pagan black metal scene is experiencing tremendous growth, in Europe and elsewhere. Bands that praise nature and exotic deities swarm up in the most unlikely places. I admit, however, be rather tired before this proliferation. Too many times, released albums lack both creativity and quality. So I became more wary of new releases that end up in my Mp3 player. But these legitimate concerns are swept by repeated listenings of England band Winterfylleth’s most recent opus.
Dense, rich and enjoyable to listen, The Threnody of Triumph is an album that quickly seduced me. Of course, I already knew the group. Its music is reminiscent of some masterpieces made by their colleagues of Drudkh and fellows from Fen and Wodensthrone, but Chris Naughton and his band have just completed an amazing work.
Inspired by Albion’s folklore, the band’s songs (whose name means “October” in Old English) are all developed with environments produced by a guitar deployed in layers, with a strong, but withdrawn, drumming. Moreover, unlike other formations of the same ilk, Winterfylleth’s music never resorts to stylistic tricks, such as keyboards grandiloquence or inappropriate use of traditional instruments. Few interludes that punctuate titles, as well as instrumental Home is Behind, are interpreted with a clean guitar. Also note the judicious use of choirs, which add an epic dimension, but without ostentation.
This record makes you feel enveloped, evoking icy mist covering the ground during English autumn months. Yet, music of these October troubadours never becomes sad or melancholic. It feels like to walk in the forest, with landscapes that pass before our eyes. This is also how I suggest you to discover and enjoy this album. Come enjoy the colors of nature with your audio player and let yourself be transported in the moors of Britannia. 8/10
Originally written for Métal Obscur.