Emerging once again from the Anglo-Saxon mists of Manchester, England, the pagan black metal horde better known as Winterfylleth have returned with another full-length studio album to appease their ancient gods; and if the compositions contained within this fresh offering fail to please them, then one must wonder what in the name of Woden would.
Evocative and soul-stirring, The Reckoning Dawn – the seventh full release called forth by the British quintet – is definitive proof that Winterfylleth are sovereign masters of their craft. Translated as the Old English word for the month of October, Winterfylleth have been musically summoning spirits by offering vespers to the darkness since 2007, and they have the discography and fanbase to match that thirteen-year timespan. But with the May 8th, 2020 release of The Reckoning Dawn on Candlelight Records, these English metallers have managed to completely outdo even themselves.
Superlative, transcendent, and awe-inspiring, The Reckoning Dawn is Winterfylleth’s masterstroke in every way, shape, and form. Fully engaging from the very first note, every song on this estimable release is exquisitely choice. Melodically enhanced and acoustically accented in all the right places, the music of The Reckoning Dawn is still overwhelmingly heavy, of course, but the dynamic interplays between the melodious and cumbrous elements define this album’s resonance and are what truly sets it apart.
Consequently, The Reckoning Dawn is an album that is best enjoyed in its entirety, for the intermingling of each track into the next only adds to the overall continuity, unity, and integrity of this opus-like release. Still, some tracks stand out from the rest, so be sure not to miss the highlights in “A Hostile Fate (The Wayfarer Pt. 4)”, “Absolved in Fire”, “A Greatness Undone”, and “Yielding the March Law”. (Oh, and speaking of the aforementioned "Woden", there is also a cover of the Enslaved tune on the deluxe version of the album!)
No matter the highlights, though, it bears repeating that Winterfylleth have composed an album that is spectacular from start to finish here, so just hit play on track one and stay away from that skip button! Seriously, put some duct tape over the fucker if you must, but just do what needs to be done to not miss one second of this masterpiece.
Rating: 9.75 / 10
Release Date: May 8th, 2020 (Candlelight Records)
Influences and Contemporaries: Moonsorrow, Primordial, Falls of Rauros, Ophidian Forest, Panopticon, Kawir, Ruadh, Fellwarden