Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2024
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

Evilfeast > Wintermoon Enchantment > Reviews
Evilfeast - Wintermoon Enchantment

Classically contained black metal - 85%

we hope you die, November 10th, 2021

Poland’s Evilfeast are in many respects a quintessential solo black metal act. Prolific, minimal, atmospheric, all hallmarks associated with the fabled solo ambient black metal acts that sprung up in the US around the turn of the century. But Evilfeast are not a purely ambient outing, although his works offer plenty of atmosphere to spare. Their fourth outing, 2011’s ‘Wintermoon Enchantment’ follows on from previous works in that it is a lengthy installment of the part ethereal/part grim colourings of black metal, expanding on some areas from previous material whilst diminishing others.

I’m usually pretty unforgiving of albums that ask for more than an hour of my time. It’s either an indication of lax quality control or unwarranted hubris. Rare is the artistic mind that can pull it off, far rarer than the current number of releases reaching these lengths in any case. But there’s something about ‘Wintermoon Enchantment’ that almost gives it a free pass. Evilfeast are not trying to structure a bold and complex or indeed overbaked conceptual vision. This is instead a rather smooth blend of abrasive and atmospheric variants of black metal specifically crafted for the listener to get lost in. The pieces themselves, whilst not lacking in naked musical talking points, are cloaked behind a veil of atmosphere and mood that makes any actual melodic progression almost incidental to the whole.

Aesthetically this comes across as a more streamlined ‘Dark Medieval Times’, with elements of Sombres Forets and even early Midnight Odyssey in places. But Evilfeast keep the momentum marching forwards even if it’s not done in the most obvious way. A harsh guitar tone working through riffs that are equal parts menacing and spiritually cathartic are accompanied by swirling synth lines that seem to emanate from the heavens themselves. They work in unison to create an immersive fog of noise that is both soothing in its fantastical qualities yet fraught with all the unknown terrors of the natural world.

Drums, rather fittingly, keep things minimal. They swirl between blast-beats and basic punk rhythms, following the rhythmic dictates of each piece rather than leading them. Their sound is muffled somewhat, allowing them to fulfil their role as a framing diverse, important but tangential to the overall feel of this music. The same could be said of the vocals which follow a fairly standard black metal style, humanising the cacophonous walls of euphoric static that greet the ear, giving us a welcome narration despite their inherently aggressive undertones. This album represents a culmination of very specific impetuses within black metal, for that reason it would be a mistake to write it off as pure derivation, it is rather the reaffirmation of one classically contained notion of what black metal is or should be.

‘Wintermoon Enchantment’ by contrast opts for a more reflective approach. The presentation may be more classically “evil” in all the obvious ways, but its approach to invoking the terrors of the outdoors takes on a more spiritual and mystical quality, reverence soaked in mystery.

Originally published at Hate Meditations

Eerie Frozen Masterpiece - 97%

Kritiske, July 16th, 2014

It's safe to say that GrimSpirit knows exactly what he's doing. Whether it's creating beautiful, entrancing atmospheres or showcasing his simple, yet crushing writing, this polish musician has a strong grasp on the ambient/atmospheric black metal sound. While I started my fascination of Evilfeast through the 2013 EP, "Invoking the Ancient", it quickly became evident to me that I'd be blown away by the entire discography of this Polish single member musical endeavor. Evilfeast's unique sound fusing addictively cold black metal with fantastic, ethereal ambient goodness instantly has the ability to mentally transport listeners to a frozen-over mountain forest.

This 2011 release is by far the opus of the Evilfeast catalogue, highlighting the overwhelming hybrid between beauty and harsh mysticism that is ambient black metal. My first listen through this album was definitely a defining moment in how I perceive and listen to albums in this style. Instantly, the ambient intro to this sixty-eight minute masterpiece drew me in. Unlike other ambient intros to albums, this wasn't an uninspiring, unoriginal boring compilation of simple melodies layered a few times. It perfectly gave contrast between simplicity in ambient music and multilayered musicality through interesting and unconvential melodic mixes. I'd say it without a doubt set the tone for the album, and would just as perfectly set the tone for someone who has just discovered this project.

Following the intro is over an hour of gloriously grim, unpolished, yet clean black metal with massive ambient tracks blanketing the album's entirety. Each song perfectly encapsulates the feeling of walking through misty snow-laden forests at night, rife with overgrown evergreens and gnarled fallen logs. It's got such an alpine sound, it's hard to imagine the visuals to this album anywhere but in some remote forest surrounding a thunderous peak of a icy mountain (in my opinion, at least.)

One of the more pleasing aspects of the album is the mixing, by far. It provides a really genuine, well thought-out mix that leaves no layer higher or lower sonically than it needs to be. For the genre, it has a brilliant mixture of bass, mids, and trebles, ensuring that each is featured simultaneously to draw listeners in. The themes of ever-continuing stretches of nature and overwhelming mental patches of sorrow definitely shine through in the vocal performance. The brilliantly written lyrics instantly are brought to life by the tortured, harsh, and mangled screams of GrimSpirit. Now I know at this point, it seems like I'm obsessing a bit, and I am, but to be fair, if you're even close to a fan of this somewhat esoteric genre, chances are you'll definitely agree by the album's end.

All in all, this is one of my favorite albums, especially within the realm of black metal. Not only is this album powerful and well made, the entire discography so far is. I recommend listening to the other releases to fully comprehend this unique stylistic take on ambience in black metal. After analyzing and listening to this album and project repeatedly, it's safe to say that it's nearly a timeless masterpiece and will be followed by many great releases to come.

[Also, I actually refrained from reviewing a specific format of this release because it sounds amazing on each format it's been released on thus far.]

Hyperborean Winter - 94%

mindshadow, December 30th, 2011

Grimspirit offers up his fourth full length, clocking in at just under seventy minutes. Is it much different to the previous three albums? No, the formula hasn't changed, waves of down tuned guitars crash against us with relentless drumming while Grimspirit's voice can be heard through the maelstrom, sometimes talking, though mostly harsh and guttural, occasionally rising to shrieks and screams.

Wintermoon Enchantment is unmistakenly Evilfeast, it's like all the "ingredients" from the previous releases were thrown up in the air (while a snow blizzard raged) and subtly fell back together, changing just enough to avoid sounding too similar to previous works.
Melodic keyboards and sounds of the wind fill quieter passages like "Interlude" halfway through.
The only trademark sounds of Evilfeast that have been omitted here are the glorious shrieks and cries of the mighty birds of prey, which featured especially throughout Mysteries of the Nocturnal Forest. This was my only slight disappointment.

Listening to Wintermoon it's as if Paysage d'Hiver became more melodious and slightly symphonic with ambient keyboards giving a huge open soundscape, less claustrophobic than many of Wintherr's (peerless) releases.

I imagine swirling snow whiting out everything beyond a few steps in front of me, with only occasional glimpses of a full moon high overhead reflecting back off a dense forest, tall trees wrapped in their white winter coats, silent sentinels foreboding and yet resplendent with a timeless majesty.

For me the almost seventy minutes flies by, the music drawing me in from the start, weaving it's black magic spell, casting an enchantment through repetition with fuzzy guitars which produce an almost impenetrable wall of sound with pounding relentless drumming.
Certainly not for everyone, as admittedly there is little change between the eight tracks, but for those fond of Grimspirit's style this is yet another mesmeric black metal release to while away a long cold winters night.