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The Tragedy In Triumph - 71%

GuntherTheUndying, November 5th, 2012

With "The Threnody of Triumph," Winterfylleth’s pristine magic dwindles a bit. Anomalies that strongly contradict the band's gospel on "The Ghost of Heritage" or the continued purge into folk-infused black metal throughout "The Mercian Sphere" are completely invisible; Winterfylleth's songwriting antics seemed to have suffered to some degree. What Winterfylleth preaches on this grandiose sermon unfortunately molds quicker and leaves its mark on only a selective bunch, with a greater chunk of tunes looking a trifle dated once one ventures past the first few songs. It's actually somewhat strange, because the general postulate they've applied throughout their lifespan remains almost entirely intact, but still an essence of decline is present. Indeed, the weakest of their first three albums.

Now, before we go overboard, Winterfylleth has not committed a serious crime against humanity here. In fact, the bulk of "The Threnody of Triumph" feels completely natural and consistent toward the longevity and progression of Winterfylleth's journey into the roots of heritage. The band still produces lively tales within their paragon of standard black metal that largely focuses on the group's authentic riffs and the ethereal atmosphere forged by the whole picture coming together. It's largely a fast-paced record barring the anomalies scattered around, and you'll find few surprises if you're familiar with Winterfylleth’s other releases. The transitional pieces—"Æfterield-Fréon" and "Home Is Behind"—are again folk-based pieces that invoke a fathomless amount of power. These Englishmen do these better than the cookie-cutter slices of mediocrity often used by their counterparts, and it's surprising how much utility is successfully applied for a pair of interludes.

I did mention, however, that some parts of "The Threnody of Triumph" seem rusty. Well, at times they are clearly firing on all cylinders, but other instances yield lead guitar parts that feel awkward and misplaced ("A Thousand Winters") or even general blueprints that don't work at all. "The Glorious Plain," for instance, is probably the least memorable anthem found on Winterfylleth's first three albums; I still can't remember a thing about it. They simply run through the motions throughout similar acts of erosion such as "The Fate of Souls After Death" or "A Soul Unbound," which, although undoubtedly Winterfylleth at the core, sink under the pressure. Every song has its moments, but a good portion of the chunk runs out of fuel and lifelessly chugs along shortly thereafter, giving little in return of its consuming aura.

Under the slightly disappointing components, though, awaits a familiar application of rapturous choirs and folk themes which drive this group away from the herd, and the portrait itself remains generally enjoyable on the whole. Despite the lacking elements of "The Threnody of Triumph," Winterfylleth needs not a memorial penned in its passing, because there's still plenty of life left in the historic and prideful hymns of black metal's English scribes. I’d suggest digging into their earlier albums before handling “The Threnody of Triumph” if you haven't engaged Winterfylleth's autumnal beauty, yet it’ll definitely appeal to several interested customers despite its obvious and glaring bursts of inadequacy.

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