Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity (2014)
Review by Jude Felton
If you are anything like me, and God help you if you are, you still get that buzz and excitement when the release date approaches of an upcoming album you eager to hear. Maybe it’s the kid in me, or maybe it’s just the fact that I am always anxious to digest more good music? Regardless of this, I feel honored that I got the chance to listen to The Divination of Antiquity; the new album from England’s finest black metal purveyors, Winterfylleth.
Of course, with this anticipation, there is always the chance of disappointment. Can a band live up to the expectation levels that we set in our minds? In the case of these Mancunians, it’s a simple case of hell yes they can. This is a band that is continuing to grow and move forward, in leaps and bounds and, with The Divination of Antiquity, have delivered an absolutely awe-inspiring album of fury and majestic grace.
From the opening bombastic attack of the title song, Winterfylleth deliver song after song that soar from the speakers, and for the hour or so running time I found myself absolutely entranced. The aggression is coupled, throughout the running time, with passion and emotion that shines through on each and every song; it’s quite obvious that Winterfylleth are not only growing as musicians, but as songwriters too.
The band does eventually take their collective feet off the gas for the fourth tune, A Careworn Heart, with its acoustic guitars and choral vocal styling. This just adds further depth to an album that already has layer upon layer of subtle textures within each song.
The pacing and structure of the album is obviously something to which a lot of care and attention have been given, and as such it flows perfectly. The slower numbers perfectly counterbalancing the faster ones, with Chris Naughton’s impassioned vocals coursing over the musical melee that the entire band collectively provides.
Honestly, I could keep going on about how damned good The Divination of Antiquity is, although I fear it would be pointless. This is an album of near perfection, to my ears, and whilst I think the band will continue to deliver the goods, in the years to come, this soars as high as the peaks of the cover artwork and stands as one of the best extreme metal albums, black metal or otherwise, of recent years. The Divination of Antiquity is a truly glorious exercise in extreme metal devastation; buy it, listen to it and bask in its majesty; it does not disappoint.
1. The Divination of Antiquity
2. Whisper of the Elements
3. Warrior Herd
4. A Careworn Heart
5. Foundations of Ash
6. The World Ahead
7. Over Borderlands
8. Forsaken in Stone
The Divination of Antiquity is released by Candlelight Records on October 7th, 2014, and can be purchased here.