The Pitch: Classic-sounding, symphonic black metal from California's Northwind Wolves via Black Lion Records. FFO: early Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, early Satyricon
What I Like: I was already impressed after listening to the first two tracks blind, but even more so after learning that these guys are from the sunny West Coast. Few USBM bands truly nail the cold, grim darkness that spawns so naturally out of Scandinavia. Northwind Wolves must be directly channeling ancestors from the region. Aside from the raw guitars, vocals, and drums roaring straight out of the 90's, their synth work is every bit on par with albums like Dark Medieval Times, Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, and perhaps even In The Nightside Eclipse. Whether laying down atmospheric backdrops or raging through classical piano arrangements, it adds an extra layer to the already striking compositions. Furthermore, the Borgir/Cradleish guitar solos aren't too shabby either. This crew really knows their instruments on top of perfectly capturing that 2nd wave black magic.
Critiques: Arguably, Dark Cold Grim worships the old school so much that it doesn't really try anything new. If you're looking for something fresh, you may find yourself a little dissapointed.
The Verdict: Despite the handicap of their regional surroundings, Northwind Wolves have defied all expectations to craft an album that rivals the classics. You could play Dark Cold Grim side by side with most second wave albums and I doubt to the passing listener would realize that this was recorded 20+ years later. Stream and purchase below.
Flight's Fav's: Dark Skies for Black Sorcery, Specters in the Funeral's Mist, Chamber of the ShadowLord
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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