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Lethal black metal - 80%

Ork_blut, January 14th, 2009

This was released almost 13 years ago, and has remained as difficult to find now as it was back then. WEREWOLF was the brainchild of ex-Summoning drummer Trifixion of the Horned King, Hagen (the owner of the rip-off label Lethal Records), and the unknown Wolf.

Considering Trifixion's other musical offerings, Summoning aside, one could have expected a travesty of misguided & ill-conceived black metal, lacking direction & sincerity (ie. PERVERTUM). Oddly enough, this not the case.

Throwing off the shackles of their Austrian forebears, WERWOLF produced an album closer to the musical output of Poland and Germany's elitist black metal scenes of the time.

The album opens with a segment of grandiose classical music followed by gun explosions, before kicking in with some rather impressive raw black metal. The music is coarse & gritty, guitars are heavy and stomp along, devoid of melody (except for the odd lead). The bass is high in the mix, rumbling along and filling out the sound. Trifixion's drumming, though not perfect, is particularly effective and works well here. Hagen's vocals switch between hateful growls and dry agonized screams, complementing the music nicely.

The album is mostly mid-paced, utilizing speedier passages to admirable effect. The finest track here, "War is the King & Father of All", is given extra dimension by some magisterial keyboard work, lending the song a triumphant atmosphere. Added to all this are plenty of samples from speeches to exploding shells, re-enforcing the War themes of the album. At times I am of reminded of early GRAVELAND and VELES, the first BARAD-DUR album and THA-NORR. Overall the album is vibrant, aggressive, suitably dark and menacing; true to the spirit of good underground black metal.

Certainly unique, it will not be to everybody's taste. At times it is a little incoherent, but overall this little-known, underground gem will be well worth your attention if you can find a copy.