Wolfheart are a finnish band who play a genre they coined “winter metal” based on their lyrics revolving around cold winter as well as battles in that cold and, as the band name suggests, wolves. Their upcoming album Wolves of karelia is a wonderful continuation of everything the band’s been doing for the past 7 years but brings in more of those really atmospheric and progressive elements that makes the band’s sound stand out even more.
What started out as a solo project for frontman and guitarist Tuomas Saukkonen, who recorded the first Wolfheart album by himself with the exception of the solos, Wolfheart has pulled in other members including Joonas Kauppinen and Lauri Silvonen who helped the band evolve into this atmospheric, vikingy, and really unique melo death project.
Wolves of Karelia has a very big sound throughout that really helps capture the setting that the lyrics portray. The first song “Hail of steel” starts with a mood setting, slower section that recalls some kind of frozen wasteland. Right after this section, things get fast and heavy with Tuomas coming in screaming about a battle for the north.
Each track on this album has some kind of epic story told in it, and the instrumentation is perfect accompaniment for it. Something else that all the tracks have in common is that they’re all so stunningly good, each one flawlessly portraying different elements of the cold north and doing so with amazing ability In the guitar, bass, drums, and even different strings and piano. Even in the quieter acoustic sections on the album all the different sounds fit together perfectly not only with each other but with the faster parts too.
There is nothing bad to be said Wolfheart‘s Wolves of Karelia, it brings out the best elements across various genres of metal and puts them together into something uniquely “winter metal.”
Wolves of Karelia is out April 10 on Napalm Records. Pre-order it here.