This is not a new album by Croatia’s Wolfenhords. The Flame of Pagan War is a compilation of songs from Wolves of the New Beginning, Pathway to Lunar Utopia, Slavonic Alliance and various demo tracks. That being said, the quality ranges from fairly good to absolutely fucking awful. Naturally, the fucking awful sounding stuff comes first. If you can survive the first half of this album, the second half is actually pretty good. The songs are definitely better in quality and sound once you get to track nine. The first half of this compilation is raw, primitive Black Metal in the style of old Graveland and Darkthrone. The second half has more of a Black Thrash feel, and the production is definitely better and the playing is tighter. One thing to note about Wolfenhords is that ideologically, the band is NSBM (National Socialist Black Metal, also known as “that Nazi shit”). They aren’t as blatant as some (such as Pantheon or Thor’s Hammer), but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where their political loyalties lie. This would also explain why their sound is so rough, particularly on their earlier recordings. A lot of bands in this genre are enamored with that whole “kvlt” sound where Burzum (particularly the first three releases) and old Graveland loom large as influences. As you can tell by the fact that things get better on the more recent material, they’ve evolved beyond the underproduced and raw Black Metal style to a more Thrash influenced sound (German Thrash, naturally) with clearer sound and tighter playing. If you’ve recently come upon this band’s music and you want to check out how their older material sounded, this is a good indicator of where they were and how they evolved. The older albums are likely out of print so this may be the only way you’ll be able to hear that stuff.
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