Album Review: Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn (Candlelight/Spinefarm Records)

The Reckoning Dawn, the sixth full-length from the pioneers of British Black Metal Winterfylleth, marks the return of the UK’s most important 21st century extreme act, with a very relevant record for current times.

The band’s first heavy full-length since 2014’s The Divination of Antiquity, The Reckoning Dawn is the product of a band who have taken time to hone their skills and refine their palate, resulting in one of the darkest and most powerful records of 2020.

As you would expect from Winterfylleth there is thematic intrigue with historical Britain, and lyrically The Reckoning Dawn addresses issues that are relevant historically and today: tribalism, manipulation, control, corruption in religion and politics.

Guitarist/vocalist Chris Naughton commented:

Having spent the last 2 years in a very different creative space, touring our acoustic album, and bringing those shows to evocative, atmospheric and unique venues all over the UK and Europe, we are now pleased to announce our return to the realms of Black Metal with our new album, The Reckoning Dawn. The culmination of almost two years of writing and collective hard work, what we are presenting here is a visceral & emotive new Winterfylleth album that we are all truly proud to put forth into the world.

We’ve taken the time over the last few years to craft and grow our sound into different musical areas, really wanting to contrast that on this album; taking what we had learned from those other experiences and distilling that into what we have created here. To me it feels like a mighty, passionate and essential album of songs that push the boundaries of what a Winterfylleth metal album can be, but that also harkens back to our more traditional Black Metal sound in a more immediate way.

The Reckoning Dawn follows acoustic album The Hallowing Of Heirdom (2018) and mini-album The Dark Hereafter (2016). It will be released on the 8th May 2020.

It’s so good to have Winterfylleth back with their more traditional sound. What we have here is 8 scorching, distinctive, atmospheric and magnificent black metal tracks. An invigorated and evolved Winterfylleth that builds on everything we’ve come to love about the band while adding even more depth and soul to their sound.

Kicking off with the fiery blackened metal speed of Misdeeds of Faith, this is a sharp shock to the system as it barely breaks its stride. The guitars and drums pounding away with complete abandon and the vocals howling with unrestrained power. It’s got Winterfylleth’s traditional sense of atmosphere throughout it but the speed is what most will remember here.

Speed is still key for A Hostile Fate (The Wayfarer Pt. 4) but here we get a much more emotive and character-full track. The sound of Winterfylleth’s traditional black metal noise mixed with the penchant for grandness makes this one of the best tracks on the album.

Not that there is anything lacking here really. Every track delivers a titanic slab of heaviness while pushing the boundaries of atmospheric metal to even greater heights.

Proof? Absolved in Fire begins with naturistic and haunting melody that builds in threat and darkness over a 2 and half minute period. Then, like waves crashing over rocks on a cold beach, the harshness of Winterfylleth’s traditional black metal bursts forth. From then on, it’s chaos but ordered chaos and you’ll find yourself mesmerised by the flames.

Amazingly, the album hasn’t even hit the halfway point and already Winterfylleth have crafted an album of the year contender.

It just gets better too as the title track has such poignant atmosphere, sitting effectively behind the sharp vocal barbs and drum battering. A great example of how Winterfylleth have made beautiful fury their calling card. A Greatness Undone as dreamy as it is wild and seemingly uncontrollable, the slow descending rhythm stark and icy cold.

Betwixt Two Crowns is a break for those who need it, a minute and a half of folkish melody. Nice enough but most will be hungry to get back into the real meat of The Reckoning Dawn. Meat that is ever so thick and juicy as Yielding the March Law keeps the body aflame with black metal delight. Easily the most traditional black metal sounding track on the album.

Finally, this phenomenal album comes to a close and in true Winterfylleth style, it’s an absolute epic. An atmospheric black metal epic that is the culmination of the journey and the confirmation that Winterfylleth are as important and relevant as ever.

Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn Full Track Listing:

1. Misdeeds of Faith
2. A Hostile Fate (The Wayfarer Pt. 4)
3. Absolved In Fire
4. The Reckoning Dawn
5. A Greatness Undone
6. Betwixt Two Crowns
7. Yielding The March Law
8. In Darkness Begotten




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Winterfylleth - The Reckoning Dawn (Candlelight/Spinefarm Records)
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