Wolves Of The Northern Moon
Review by Vladimir on April 19, 2023.
Grab yourselves some ice-cold alcoholic beverage because it's time for some Suomi Black Metal! Today I'll be focusing on a Finnish black metal from Hyvinkää called Grieve. Grieve's lineup consists of some well-known black metal musicians you might have heard of, such as Werwolf, V-KhaoZ and Hellwind Inferion. Yes, that's right, the Werwolf that I'm talking about is none other than the man himself, Lauri Penttilä from Satanic Warmaster. Well of course, because what else would Mr. Werwolf be doing if not black metal music, I mean having one more black metal band or project in your artist catalog won’t hurt, right? The band released their debut album Funeral last year on January 14th, and as of March 31st, their second full-length album Wolves Of The Northern Moon was released via Werewolf Records.
A slight cough and spit to warm things off, and we finally start our opener title track 'Wolves Of The Wintermoon', which will dictate the album’s style from start to finish. The first track begins exactly how I described it with a cough and spit, but of course it consists of traditional aggressive riffing, d-beat and mid-tempo drumming, harsh vocals which sound pretty raw without any added effects or distortion. Aside from harsh shouting, vocals also throw in some howls and coughs along the way which makes it a bit hilarious but interesting nonetheless. Music-wise, the album doesn't really differentiate from track to track, but keeps the constant flow of tremolo riffing and fast-drumming, with a frosty, nocturnal and misanthropic atmosphere expressed throughout. It might be a tad bit monotonous for my personal taste but I still managed to get some enjoyment out of this, despite the fact that the songwriting is rather simple and predictable once you get into it. My honest problem I have about this album isn't so much the songs but mostly the vocal track which sounds very amateurishly done and feels more like an unmixed demo. To clarify things, the vocal itself isn't the problem, but the fact that no one bothered to at least add a bit of reverb and just decided to leave the raw vocal recording makes it somewhat difficult to enjoy since it really ruins the instrumental performance. Aside from the horrible sounding vocals, the production on this album is standard for black metal music with its raw, cold guitar tone and untriggered drums, so therefore I have nothing to complain about.
To summarize this album as a whole, it isn't really a bad album aside from what the vocal tracks sound like. I did struggle a bit to find something "tangible", but nevertheless it didn't make me regret my decision to take some time and give it a listen. If you're fans of Werwolf and all of his various bands/projects, I think you might like Grieve for being what it is.
Rating: 6.7 out of 10