In 2013 we have so many sub genres' in Metal that there are too many […]
By Emily Coulter
October 14, 2013
Wolfheart - Winterborn album cover

In 2013 we have so many sub genres' in Metal that there are too many to count, with some genre's branching off from another for example Folk metal which links to Viking, pirate and now winter Metal. If the characters of Game of Thrones listened to metal (they most likely did, Winterfell is very Metal) then WOLFHEART's album "Winterborn" would be the soundtrack of their lives. WOLFHEART is the creation of multi-instrumentalist and producer Tuomas Saukkonen of the bands BEFORE THE DAWN, BLACK SUN AEON and DAWN OF SOLACE. In this album he truly shows how talented he is, writing and performing the songs himself with a guest an appearance from Mika Lammassaari of the band ETERNAL TEARS OF SORROW on five tracks.

"The Hunt" is the intro track of "Winterborn" and the first track showcasing Mika Lammassari's guitar solos. It starts off as your standard intro track to any metal album, a beautiful acoustic track but you are certainly surprised when the power of the drums kick in, "The Hunt" is a sub-genre mix between power and Folk Metal with growl vocals, you can even feel the frost in his throat. The guitar solo that Mika Lammassari's performs at 3.36 gives off the Power Metal vibe. "Strength and Valour" is pure Death Metal, this is a song for fans of AMON AMARTH. This track really shows off how skilled Tuomas Saukkonen is at creating music, playing every instrument and singing all vocals by himself. Fast drums, low growls, melodic symphonies and astonishing riffs, this is what makes "Winterborn" so good.

"Routa Pt.2" is the second out of five tracks featuring Mika Lammassari, starting off as a simple violin harmony it kicks in with the crash of drums then a simple acoustic sample. But the mixture never stops with this song, as soon as that is over you're in with the harsh growls. The track is just one big surprise; you have everything you could need in this. It goes fast and then it goes slow, you have soft harmonies and brutal growls. You can never tell if it will be a Symphonic, Folk or a Death Metal track. There is something for everyone in this track, you really can feel the emotion. By this point you can really tell when Lammassari is featured in a track with his solos, they really are one of a kind. Now to track 4 "Gale Of Winter", one of the weaker songs on the album but still great. The piano playing gently in the background of one of the verses makes it feel very special and fragile, if they carried it on throughout the song it would have been a lot better.

In "Whiteout", Lammassari's first solo is undeniably obvious to you from the minute you press play. One of the lightest songs of the album, it has a slight doom feel to it. The vocals really start to stand out at this point, they feel very emotional as if you can connect with them. The only problem with this track is that the drums could have been written better as they seem very plain to the fast and creative beats on the other tracks. Lammassari's solo at 3.12 really gives the song the kick what makes it shine otherwise it could have been very weak. "Ghosts of Karelia" is what the album needed after two weaker tracks; you are confronted by the Black Metal drums which automatically make you want to start a circle pit. The guitar playing of Tuomas Sauokkonen really stuck out and gave it edge, but his vocals were disappointing, very flat at times. If he had used his vocal range better maybe it would have given the track more depth. The breakdown at 3.20 makes you want to head bang your head off, it's the boost that it needed even if it could have been longer.

Back again with the doom vibe, "I" shows what magic can happen when Lammassari and Saukkonen enter the studio together. The track even hints at a little bit of a folk/power metal solo as seen in "The Hunt". The vocals are a lot stronger here but the drums yet again are plain in some parts. This track makes you feel cold and in touch with the music of WOLFHEART, Saukkonen obviously knows how to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Starting off with a calm acoustic sample yet again "Chasm" has a beautiful start, this is the best track of the album. Saukkonen's vocals sound real and brutal but not too much that it ruins it. For half the 7 and a half minute track it is quite a calm song for Death Metal but then you are hit with the all mighty force of Mika Lammassari's pure guitar talent. This is the kind of solo that deserves to be noticed, it catches you off guard when you least expect it. You can really tell why Saukkonen had him in the studio.  This track makes you want to stand on top of an icy mountain head banging with Jean-Claude Van Damme as if you were in a Loreal / Coors Light advert. This song is what Metal is all about. The closing track "Breathe" was the perfect choice to close with. Calm, but exciting it knows how to make you listen. The violin accompaniment really shines through amongst the death metal guitar. The drums are the most creative they have been on the album and it really stands out here.

WINTERBORN is released through Violent Journey Records is going to be one of the top albums of 2013. WOLFHEART will be huge, this is Death Metal with a difference, it makes you want to be in a sword fight with a dragon.

8 / 10


"Winterborn" Track-listing:

1. The Hunt
2. Strength and Valour
3. Routa pt.2
4. Gale of Winter
5. Whiteout
6. Ghosts of Karelia
7. I
8. Chasm
9. Breathe

Wolfheart Lineup:

Tuomas Saukkonen - Vocals / Guitars / Bass / Drums

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