Winterwolf originally operated from the late 90's to 2001, at which point the band's remains turned into a wholly new band Deathchain. The original group tried to reform in 2006, but eventually the "reformation" turned into a whole new group of musicians around the band's founder and main composer. Strangely enough, the band begun to fully function right beside it's "evolved form" Deathchain, and got it's debut full-lenght out in late 2009. In addition to their actual music, oldschool death metal, the band has received extra attention due to their guitarist and backing vocalist Antti Boman being known from the legendary Demilich.
After the short spoken intro, we get thrown straight into the center of the band's beating. The vast distorted guitars shred forth traditional death metal-riffs (Sweden-style), with a good amount of thrash and dark twists in them. They're not too technical, but technical enough to sound interesting and to be able to deliver the darkened atmosphere. The bass rumbles onwards, adding some extra pulse to the songs along with the pleasingly organic drums that focus on the "traditional" style of playing with blastbeats used only as a spice every now and then. The vocals focus around harsh growling and low shouting, with Boman's trademark low and gurgling growls used to bring variation and more power. The vocals fit the songs perfectly with their harsh and aggressive sound, and credibly portray the evilness and werewolf-themes of the songs.
The songs vary commendably in tempo and overall style and hooks, from mid- to slow-pace and dark moments to much more aggressive beatings, and from more atmospheric tracks (such as "Lycanthropic Aeons") to heavy but rocking songs with a good dose of catchiness (like "nataS fo tsaeB"). The album doesn't feel to get stuck at any point.
As a negative thing, the album doesn't have enough to offer in the long run. The songs have the authentic sound and feel, and they feel honest, credible and dedicated through and through - they just seem to lack the final touch and edge that would make them true killer ones. The band could tighten their songs a little while leaving a bit less room to the more atmospheric riffs, so that the songs would cause a deeper impact on the listener. After listening to the album I'm always left with a pleasing image due to the overall mood and attitude the record portrays, as well as the few true "hit parts" so to say, but there's not enough hooks to make me listen to the album over and over again.
From the impressive visual side down to the lyrics and the band's evident attitude and skill, I can only wish them well on the road they've chosen. It is clear that these men know what they're doing, and I will be waiting to hear more from them. I hope they'll be more familiar with their style the next time, as well as more adjusted to it.