This style of black metal has ruffled many feathers of metal fans, upset that these tree-hugging hipsters are ruining the “evil” or “kvlt.” Winterfylleth are a band of heathens trying to preserve the heritage of their homeland in music form. I can respect that.
I think this atmospheric subgenre has its roots in early Ulver, particularly the album Bergtatt from 1995. And that’s fitting, since Winterfylleth covers a song from that album to end this one. “Led Astray in the Forest Dark” is a well done interpretation of a song that’s more than 20 years old, but seems not to have aged a day.
The rest of this album is pretty much what you’d expect if you’re familiar with this band. Broad soundscapes, ambitious riffs, pounding drums. If it all rolled along like that, I might not have rated this album as highly. But in my opinion, “Green Cathedral” is the centerpiece of this whole release. At around 13 minutes, it certainly takes time to build, but the payoff comes as the song comes to a close. This clean-sung choral chant reminds me very much of the Icelandic band Falkenbach, and it hooked me in the first time I heard it.
There’s nothing entirely new on the table here from this band, but I’m not complaining. Winterfylleth remains one of the best at this style of dense, atmospheric extreme metal. And The Dark Hereafter is a worthy addition to their growing catalogue of great albums.