By Laina Dawes
Despite only releasing a number of splits, the debut album from Wodensthrone is incredibly lush, haunting and in some ways, quite ‘delicate’ for what is considered ‘true’ pagan black metal. I’m not gonna even front with y’all – I can’t put my finger on it – the reason why I say that is that on Loss, there is a distinctive effort for authenticity – providing some kind of meaning outside of just putting together a full-length, sub-standard depressing collection of tracks.
I will assume that because the band is from Northern England and choose to tell the stories of “Britain’s darker Pagan antiquity,” discussions about the differences from other European black metal bands might arise. The use of texture on “Leodum on Lande” is quite a jolt – not because of the sudden tempo change from the opener, but the introduction of the vocalist, Brunwulf (who sounds like he is puking hot gravel) is a bit difficult to swallow at first, but after a couple of listens I think I get it.
There is beauty and there is this lurking evil. But I can safely say that because there was a concerted effort into the production of this album – “Fyrgenstréam” is one of the best, yet simple instrumental introductions to an album I have enjoyed in some time, and while the I assume that the band is purposefully creating a juxtaposition between the melodic and the brutal, the emphasis is placed on providing the listener with a ‘landscape’ as to what the band perceives is a suitable narrative to tell their story. Rich symphonic keyboards, a bit too much electro-riffage and the liberal use of the high-hat (a bit too much) begs for interpretation after one listen, but this album deserves a few.