Unhallowed Blood Oath

Australia Country of Origin: Australia

1. Oblivion Winds
2. Bloodlust & Vengeance
3. As Old Gates Unfurl…
4. Heaven In Blood (Absurd Cover)
5. White Death's Wings
6. All Thrones Perish
7. And Wolves Guide Me Home

Review by Felix on June 27, 2024.

A good production can help a lot – and vice versa. I am still undecided whether or not I like the one of Runespell’s debut. It is attractive in a certain way, not least because of its gloomy mood. On the other hand, everything sounds very muffled, not very powerful and intertwined. I hear less the individual instruments and the voice and much more a single note. There are also minor weaknesses in individual details. With the snare, it remains unclear whether a drum or a piece of cardboard is being struck. In view of these pros and cons, I take every critic's last exit and realise that it is a question of individual taste whether or not you can make friends with the technical implementation of the songs.

After so much indecision, I would like to take a clear position elsewhere. The quiet, atmospheric third track robs the album of intensity and I consider an Absurd cover to be problematic, for reasons that I probably don't need to explain. Incidentally, “And the Wolves Guide Me Home” is also just ambient banter. Well, you can leave it as an outro, but who really needs all these outros all the time? All in all, however, this also means that only four regular, original compositions remain, which I think is a bit of a shame. After all, this quartet spans 29 minutes and what is even better is that there is no lack of quality. Already on this debut, the multi-talented Nightwolf defines his style, a fiery mix of tragedy and despair, power and fury. His snarls and roars lend both the sad melodies and the spontaneous outbursts of rage the necessary vicious colouring. The result is a rather rustic, original black metal that doesn't care about speed records or icy minus temperatures, but creates a darkness of its own kind.

The typical artwork indicates the musical content perfectly. Although I am not the biggest fan of one-man-projects, I admit that a lot of them have enriched the global scene with their ambitions, their strength of implementation and their spirituality. I would like to emphasise the latter feature again with regard to “Unhallowed Blood Oath”. The four original compositions can take the listener on a journey if they allow themselves to. In this respect, too, the stormy but flat Absurd cover fails to score points.

Nightwolf's complete pieces, so to speak, do not show any major differences in quality. Presumably you either like none or, like me, all of them. However, I am surprised that Graveland ranks at the top of the list of similar artists. Because unlike Mr Darken's songs, which wallow endlessly in their almost meditative uniformity, Nightwolf sets more different accents by frequently changing parts. Line underneath, what is the conclusion? “Unhallowed Blood Oath” is no flawless, but a recommendable debut whose whose spiritual father has also proven his integrity and perseverance in the meantime. To lend an ear to this album is surely no mistake.

Rating: 7.3 out of 10