Winterfylleth – “The Swart Raven” (Stereogum Premiere)

I’ve never understood why Winterfylleth aren’t one of the biggest (or bigger, anyway) black metal bands in the world. There’s absolutely no reason why fans of Agalloch or Wolves In The Throne Room wouldn’t find much to love in Winterfylleth’s expansive, explosive, folk-based black metal. Maybe it’s because they’re English, and thus don’t really have opportunities to tour North America? But it’s not like WITTR or Agalloch are exactly road warriors either … I dunno. In any case, it seems like a huge oversight, but I’m pretty sure the band’s fantastic forthcoming third album, The Threnody Of Triumph, will substantially increase their visibility. (Note to self: Maybe using words like “threnody” in album titles not helping band cross over?) Winterfylleth’s last album, The Mercian Sphere, was one of the genre’s best releases in 2010, and Threnody builds on that album’s strengths: sweeping, melodic grandeur and instrumental intricacies, which employ the standard black metal tools of screeched vocals, staccato guitars, and blast beat drums, but combine them with classical English instrumentation, creating something vast, inviting, and beautiful. The first track to be released from Threnody, “The Swart Raven,” has a glide-y guitar melody reminiscent of Amesoeurs’ poppy, aching “Heurt” and a choral section that could have been lifted from one of Bathory’s mid-period viking albums. Check it out.

Winterfylleth – “The Swart Raven”

The Threnody Of Triumph is out 9/25 on Candlelight.