I confess that the announcement of this split album took me completely by surprise at first, because even though I totally admire the three participating bands, this union seemed to me a little unusual mainly due to the participation of Thy Serpent, which is a name that has been a bit silent in recent years. . In the words of Athalwolf, Wolfnacht’s creative mind, the main purpose of this release would be to honor “… the friendship with two great individuals from the Finnish BM scene…” and who benefits from that are us who appreciate the work of the names involved.
The band that opens this album is Wolfnacht with the songs “Ein Dämonischer Winter verhüllt den Schattenturm…” and “Licht des Sieges”, both are reinterpretations of compositions that appeared in the band‘s first full length “Heidentum” whose release this year completes twenty years old. My opinion is that the songs kept the rough atmosphere that the original versions had but managed to add some elements that enriched the tracks a lot; the mix gave a better balance between the instruments deepening the ethereal atmosphere that “Ein Dämonicher…” has, at the same time the production managed to make the guitars sound stronger and more powerful and this helped to highlight the solo of this track, by the way speaking in solos, “Licht des Sieges” won a beautiful one that shows us how Athalwolf evolved as an instrumentalist over the years; another thing that caught my attention was how interesting the bass lines are, something I hadn’t noticed in the original versions. These two tracks made me wonder how a complete album with reinterpretations of old Wolfnacht songs could sound very attractive and would be something I would personally buy without blinking an eye. The band has already confirmed an interview in the pages of Black Metal Terror and this is a topic I promise to ask about…
In the sequence we have Goatmoon and I confess that I was curious about what I would find here because the last release of the band “Silver Serpent” (2021) was kind of “different”; don’t get me wrong, I love this album and I can understand the intention of BlackGoat Gravedesecrator, mentor of Goatmoon, in releasing this stuff, however this was kind of an unexpected break from the sound previously performed by themselves as the band in its early days had a more raw and punky approach and they were shaping and evolving their music with each new album culminating with 2017’s “Stella Polaris” and all its complexity and refinement. Anyway, the two compositions presented here are respectively “Emerald Hellhound Howling Holocaust Dawn” and “Bestial Ophera” and shows us a Goatmoon back to Black Metal with some passages with clear influences of traditional Heavy Metal, I also noticed an almost total absence of Folk elements that were quite apparent on the album “Stella Polaris”, the tracks here have a more morbid and dark soundscape and are more keyboard oriented, especially the second song that sounds like an awesome macabre operetta showing even some symphonic elements. I hope the band keep this musical proposal in a next album because what we have here is very good.
The album ends with Thy Serpent and when I saw the tracklist for the first time I was a little disappointed because of the three bands present here the only one that had only one track was them, but when I heard “The Endless Journey Begins” I quickly realized that it was a small epic with its more than 15 minutes long. And how good it is to hear a composition by a band that you’ve been a fan of since its creation and that has been kind of hibernating for the last twenty years. The music presented here showed me a Thy Serpent faithful to its own sound and here you will find that old Dark Metal with mid-tempo arrangements full of taciturn and somber melodies; in my opinion this track has a closer approach to the band’s first albums. I sincerely hope that a new awakening for Thy Serpent is on the near horizon, because over the years I have seen several people comment that this is a band that fell asleep at the moment they were ready to conquer the world. Well, they also confirmed an interview in the pages of Black Metal Terror and we’ll see what they say about it.
To finish, I would like to point out that split albums sometimes put together names that are very different from each other, either because of the musical difference between the bands, or because of the different production between the tracks, but what we find here is probably the most harmonious split I’ve ever heard. in my entire life; although the bands have many individual particularities, the songs have a sound with elements in common with each other and the whole of the work does not seem to be a poorly fitted puzzle at any time. Listen to the transition from the end of “Liechdes Sieges” by Wolfnacht and the beginning of “Emerald Hellhound…” by Goatmoon or the end of “Bestial Ophera” by the aforementioned Goatmoon and the beginning of “The Endless Journey Begins” by Thy Serpent and perceive the naturalness with which the compositions flow. Without a doubt this is one of the best releases you will find this year and I can only advise you to hurry up to buy it as it is sure that this will be an album that will become a hard to find collector’s item very soon.