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Through Epic Black Metal And Dark Ambient - 80%

diogoferreira, February 13th, 2015

After four years of almost total silence regarding studio releases, the Finnish black metallers Satanic Warmaster came back with “Fimbulwinter” that was released via Werewolf Records in November.

The first two songs are oriented to the more traditional black metal due to the fast drums comprised by thunderous blast beats and by well-sharpened guitar riffs that wander through fields of bleakness just to emerge from that infernal sonority into melodic sections. In order to better understand that initial phase, we can recall bands such as Taake and Angantyr or even Dimmu Borgir in their early years due to a quasi-symphonic passage in “Funeral Wolves”. Then, we start to enter in a musical new phase in which the rawest aggressiveness, yet well executed, is replaced by more melodic and even atmospheric soundscapes, like in “When Thunders Hail”, in which the keyboards give us a medieval taste. However, we don’t get stuck just there since the more melodic guitars reach an epic imaginary that’s so characteristic within the most warrior black metal.

Heavy metal as Satanic Warmaster’s source of inspiration is a known aspect, so it’s not a strange thing if we find some moments related to the metal’s mother genre, like in “Nuin-Gaer-Faun”, in which we have guitar solos and leading moments comprised by mid-tempo and extremely melodious soundscapes. Also, let’s praise the bass guitar lines that come to surface in great harmony with the rest of the instruments.

There’s also a third and last phase in which the powerful black metal of the track “Winter’s Hunger” is interrupted by a canvas of sounds oriented to dark ambient with some electronic arrangements reminding of Nargaroth’s “Spectral Visions of Mental Warfare”. This approach, that’s not new at all, proves that’s possible to overthrow limitations as we don’t need to be orthodox minds forever. In turn, the almost nine minutes long “Silent Call of Moon’s Temples” is more driven into the medieval ambient that was perpetrated by Mortiis or Wongraven in the early and mid-1990s – it’s slow, dark and foggy, but above all, beautiful. Excepting the adjective ‘slow’, the other ones are easily what define this new “Fimbulwinter”.

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