Winterfylleth - The Divination of Antiquity [Candlelight Records - 2014]The Divination of Antiquity is the latest album from British black metal band Winterfylleth, their fourth one since being signed to Candlelight Records. Winterfylleth (which means winter full moon in The old English language) formed in 2007. Their purpose was to honor Englands’ cultural heritage and bring awareness to Englands’ folklore, landscapes and ancestral past. They have also become one of the fore runners of newer British black metal bands along with Wodensthrone and A Forest of Stars.
Nine songs are here, so best just to jump in and begin; The one thing gleaned from listening to Winterfylleth is they are incredibly passionate about what the band stands for as to what they want their music to sound like. After listening to The Divination of Antiquity it’s hard to find too many low points. Out of nine songs maybe only two were a bit monotonous and that’s saying something in our modern downloadable world.
So here are the absolute highlights; “Whisper of the Elements” is relentless in its assault. Fast paced and blasting rhythms are combined with slower passages that are no less exquisite. “A Careworn Heart, in my opinion, is the best song here. Acoustic guitars and somber chanting open up the track, which then roars into a majestic blast of heaviness. The guitar work of Chris Naughton and Mark Wood is absolutely flawless. “Foundations of Ash” is an intense song with loads of dimension; times changes, moody atmospheres, tinges of folk melodies and dissonant chords. “The World Ahead” presents the only instrumental of the album. Pensive in melody with a lilting guitar solo, vocals sing along with the guitars all accumulating into a lovely song. “Forsaken In Stone” falls on the same page as “A Careworn Heart” utterly devastating song, a bit slower paced but equally heavy if not more so. Excellent vocal work here as they are a bit more emotive and more forward in the mix than some of the other songs. “Over The Borderlands” brings us back to the faster tempo balls out intensity. “Pariah’s Path” is the bonus track (on the digi-pak release), again majestic in sounds, with bombastic drumming. It ends with acoustic guitars and harmonizing vocals, a gentle way to end such a dynamic album. The other songs “The Divination of Antiquity” and “Warrior Herd” are not awful per se, they just sound a bit monotonous compared to the others. Vocals on these songs are slightly buried on these two, they’re no less intense just not as stellar as the other.
Winterfylleth seem to progress with each release, garnering a loyal following. One thing to mention is how well the musicians not only play but compose on The Divination of Antiquity. While they come under the banner of black metal, they; like bands Secrets of the Moon and Agalloch, would appeal to any fan of well played, intricately emotion and daring music.Viktorya Kaufholz