Remember the first time you heard Immortal and how the songs instantly grabbed you? A riff would hit your ear drums and all you could do was bang your head, hit repeat, and do it again. That’s how I am with the song “In My Kingdom Cold” off of Sons of Northern Darkness. Classic. It’s not often that black metal ‘hits’ me that way anymore. I’m either too old and jaded (most likely), or I’ve just heard it all before. Thankfully, I’ve had the opportunity to hear the new Satanic Warmaster and any curmudgeon thoughts have been erased from my mind (as far as black metal is concerned anyway).
I may be jumping the gun here, but this album Fimbulwinter by Satanic Warmaster is near perfect. Galloping, triumphant black metal played to hear perfection. Christ, just listen to the opening 2 minutes of the song “When Thunders Hail”. Try listening to it any less than 10 times in a row. I think I’ve listened to it at least 4 times just during my writing of this review. That’s not to say this is the only great song here. If black metal had ‘hits’, this album would be at the top of the Billboard charts out of the gate.
For the past 15 years or so , Satanic Warmaster has remained a highly revered name in the black metal underground. Lead screamer Werwolf started in the scene as the original vocalist for Horna. While his output has been great thus far with albums like Strength & Honour, Opferblut, and Revelation, never has the songwriting been this solid or the production been this crisp. Song after song of addicting black metal hits hard and only lets up for the outro of “Winter’s Hunger” and the last song which is the instrumental “Silent Call of Moon’s Temples”. You can almost feel the cold wind penetrate your skin in the silence and calm of a Finland evening with a full moon shining upon the trees as the pulsating rhythm ends the album.
Albums such as this one don’t come around often. Everything from the songs and production to the imagery (if you care about such things) are all top notch and worthy of your time and money. I can’t wait to hear how majestic this sounds on vinyl!
Hells Headbangers (in conspiracy with Werewolf Records) is handling the worldwide release of Fimbulwinter which has a release date of 4/7/15. Enjoy folks!