I love Winterfylleth. They are one of the most important bands the UK has produced in recent years and "The Mercan Sphere" is one of the greatest black metal albums ever recorded. They have been consistent throughout their career with four fantastic albums under their belts so needless to say I have been excited to hear this new album.
Now I’m slightly confused here because as far as I’m concerned what I have in my hands is a glorified EP. No Winterfylleth’s three previous albums have been an hour and 8 minutes white this release is merely 40 minutes. Now 5 tracks at 40 minutes is enough for some bands, Mastodon’s "Crack The Skye" for example and at the end of the day what really matters is quality not quantity. Things get a bit more disappointing when the final track is an Ulver cover (granted a good one, we’ll get to that later) and the second track was actually a bonus track on their last album. Now 40 minutes 40 shminutes I paid £12.99 for 3 new songs! Not happy, this should have been advertised and sold as an EP.
This gripe aside the three new songs are good. 'The Dark Hereafter' and 'Ensigns Of Victory' are standard black metal with the extreme yet hauntingly melodic shredding. They don’t expand on Winterfylleth’s sound but deliver the standard you expect from the band. 'Green Cathedral' is the real treat here. A 13 minute slow epic that builds up much in the vein of Bathory’s "Hammerheart" era. It perfectly suits the albums front cover and captures the atmosphere brilliantly.
All in all as far as Winterfylleth albums go this feel like it finishes before it really begins. Good content but simply not enough. The next album better be fucking EPIC lads!