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Monday, March 14, 2016

Krigere Wolf - Sacrifice to Valaskjàlf



Artist: Krigere Wolf
Release Title: Sacrifice to Valaskjàlf
Year: 2014
Label: Fallen-Angel Productions
Genre: Black/Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Whispers of the End
2. Towards the Black Mass
3. Disciples of Sacred Fire
4. Sacrifice to Valaskjàlf
5. Blood to the Wolves
6. Impaled Slaves
7. The End Has a Beginning
8. Vision of Death
9. At Open Gates

The second full-length from Italian black/death metallers Krigere Wolf features a host of impressive elements on display making for a really explosive and engaging effort here. This is mostly centered around chaotic and utterly unrelenting old-school styled black metal based on the kind of swirling tremolo riff-work that’s been the basis for so many bands over the years sparking off a swarm of intense and chaotic arrangements littered with ferocious speed and energy as it races along throughout the tracks. The deeper, heavier rhythms found in death metal do leave this one with a stylish backbone to build off of, generating some impressive speed and overall leave the riffing with a lot to like, though it’s most certainly also generating a lot of impressive elements here from the utterly crushing and pummeling drumming. Whipping through clattering, overpowering double-bass blastbeats and fills, there’s just so much utterly devastating work there that this alone generates so much chaotic fun blasting through the tracks that it comes off all the more devastating and powerful. It does seem a little lopsided in terms of songs as the first half is so much fun while the back-end is weighed down with two useless instrumentals, which along with the intro lowers the original tracks down to six, but overall there’s plenty on offer to like elsewhere that it’s a momentary distraction rather than a debilitating detriment.

The first half here gives a strong impression of what’s on offer here. Instrumental intro ‘Whispers of the End’ features a haunting ambient note with grandiose patterns and atmospheric sounds leading into proper first track ‘Towards the Black Mass’ building into a thumping series of driving drum-work and ferocious tremolo riffing filled with explosive patterns and utterly pummeling drumming with the dynamic rhythms keeping the ambient notes to a minimum with the chaotic patterns of the finale making for an engaging and enjoyable opening blast. ‘Disciples of Sacred Fire’ uses a stylish series of swarming riff-work leading into an explosive mid-tempo blast as the utterly pummeling drumming and frantic tremolo riffing swirl through a series of dynamic rhythms keeping the charging atmospheres and heavy riffing intact through the final half for another enjoyable effort. The title track features blasting drumming amid chaotic tremolo riff-work that settles into a frantic up-tempo series of rhythms with charging patterns and scorching riffing filled with blazing chaotic tremolo melodies leading through the frantic finale making for a truly enjoyable highlight. ‘Blood to the Wolves’ takes an extended ambient intro before exploding through utterly charging rhythms with chaotic tremolo riffing alongside fully-driving drumming filled with chaotic, frenetic fills filled with unrelenting blastbeats as the tremolo riffing carries through the melodic solo section and driving through the final half for another strong highlight.

The second half is a little lighter compared to the opening but does have some engaging moments.‘Impaled Slaves’ takes a steady mid-paced series of rhythms with driving riffing alongside driving drum-work that allows for the occasional blast of scorching tremolo patterns kicking along into high-gear with the blasting energy and frantic rhythms charging along through the chaotic finale for a third strong highlight. Things take a sullen turn with the bland ‘The End Has a Beginning’ being a strumming bass-line and spoken-word interlude that feels completely out-of-place on the album and is wholly unnecessary overall here/ It picks back up with ‘Vision of Death’ bringing back ferocious drumming and scorching up-tempo tremolo riff-work with the energy keeping this one surging along with the frenetic rhythms surging through the chaotic pattern riffing as the tremolo riffing leads into the solo section while the chaotic patterns continue blasting through the final half for another strong effort. Lastly, album-closer ‘At Open Gates’ features ambient nature sounds and hushed voices over a crackling fire that effectively gives this a nice calming feeling leading into the finish which isn’t a bad outro track but highlights the other efforts as well.

An overall pummeling and dynamic release, there’s so much fun throughout here that this one manages to get a lot of it’s impressive natures out through these impressive arrangements, leaving this one to readily appeal to those more on the extreme end who appreciate this kind of style, while those looking for more melodious work in the genre will find this one somewhat challenging.

Score: 92/100



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