WOLFCHANT

Folk Metal / Power Metal / Pagan Black Metal • Germany
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Wolfchant is a band formed in St. Oswald, Germany, in 2003. The musical style of Wolfchant incorporates elements of many metal genres, revolving around a core style of folk metal. Their sound has evolved a lot over the years. Wolfchant's lyrics deal with legends and folk tales from Nordic mythology and vary between being in English and German.

Wolfchant were founded by Lokhi (vocals, bass), Gaahnt (guiatrs), Skaahl (guitars) and Norgahd (drums). The group produced their first demo, The Fangs of the Southern Death, in 2004. The release had a very different sound compared to that of the albums that would follow, containing very few folk elements, and rather mixing melodic black and melodic death metal elements. The sound of the demo was quite rough and raw and it was quickly followed up with a second demo the same year, The Herjan Trilogy. The new demo featured a change
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WOLFCHANT Discography

WOLFCHANT albums / top albums

WOLFCHANT Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands
Folk Metal 2005
WOLFCHANT A Pagan Storm album cover 4.62 | 7 ratings
A Pagan Storm
Folk Metal 2007
WOLFCHANT Determined Damnation album cover 3.80 | 5 ratings
Determined Damnation
Folk Metal 2009
WOLFCHANT Call of the Black Winds album cover 3.81 | 8 ratings
Call of the Black Winds
Folk Metal 2011
WOLFCHANT Embraced By Fire album cover 3.87 | 10 ratings
Embraced By Fire
Power Metal 2013
WOLFCHANT Bloodwinter album cover 3.96 | 4 ratings
Bloodwinter
Power Metal 2017
WOLFCHANT Omega : Bestia album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Omega : Bestia
Power Metal 2021

WOLFCHANT EPs & splits

WOLFCHANT live albums

WOLFCHANT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

WOLFCHANT The Fangs of the Southern Death album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
The Fangs of the Southern Death
Pagan Black Metal 2004
WOLFCHANT The Herjan Trilogy album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
The Herjan Trilogy
Pagan Black Metal 2004
WOLFCHANT Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands (2013) album cover 4.05 | 2 ratings
Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands (2013)
Folk Metal 2013

WOLFCHANT re-issues & compilations

WOLFCHANT singles (0)

WOLFCHANT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

WOLFCHANT Reviews

WOLFCHANT Bloodwinter

Album · 2017 · Power Metal
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adg211288
German metal band Wolfchant have been evolving their sound by leaps and bounds with their last couple of albums Call of the Black Winds (2011) and Embraced by Fire (2013). Firstly they switched to a two vocalist line-up on the former, which also saw some changes in musical direction, the kind that in hindsight make the release sound like quite the transitional album. And on the latter they began to produce music that was mostly their own unique brand of power metal, quite a few steps away from the melodic folk/black metal sound they started with. I tend to think of their style these days as symphonic blackened power metal. Bloodwinter (2017) is their sixth album. It was originally slated for a 2014 release but got delayed, perhaps due to line-up changes within the band.

After spending the last couple of albums growing as a band, Bloodwinter finds Wolfchant now settling down with their new sound. While not a carbon copy of what they did on Embraced by Fire all the elements that made that album are also present here, such as the fast paced and melodic power metal guitar riffs and leads, symphonic elements that if anything are even stronger on this album, and a decidedly blackened feel due to vocalist Lokhi's growling vocals. There's a bit more actual folk again this time though compared to the last album which harkens back to the band's earlier work. Though I have to say that when folk is used on Bloodwinter it actually feels more authentic than on certain past Wolfchant songs. Before they'd often just use folksy melodies played on the guitar, which defined their second album A Pagan Storm (2007). In the vocal department the voices of the two vocalists Lokhi and Nortwin (A.K.A. Michael Seifert of Rebellion) feel more in balanced as Embraced by Fire definitely sounded like Nortwin's album, leaving the band's original vocalist Lokhi sounding like a spare wheel to me. I don't get that same impression on Bloodwinter.

The songs on offer here are sure to please fans who loved the previous album but in comparison I actually find that Bloodwinter doesn't flow quite as well from track to track. I think that may be because Embraced by Fire was much more straight power metal based whereas here the band do often drop their power metal riffs to focus on another element such as the first proper song Schicksalsmacht which has a greater focus on their symphonic metal element until they launch into a full throttle power metal section towards the end of the track. It's one of the songs here that feels the most different compared to anything on Embraced by Fire and might have fit in better on Call of the Black Winds. Wolfchant (A Wolf to Man) follows and brings in stronger power metal elements crossed with slower paced symphonic metal and a brief acoustic bridge. Das Bollwerk adds in the album's first tastes of actual folk. Throughout they tend to rotate these elements, mostly the power and symphonic stuff. As usual the band alternate between English and German language songs.

Bloodwinter is a more varied release from Wolfchant making it in some ways more comparable in intent to Call of the Black Winds even though the actual style is more Embraced by Fire. Variation is often a positive in music, but the album doesn't hit the spot for me as well as Embraced by Fire, which I still see as Wolfchant's best and most epic release. What it is however is a solid follow-up and since it's been several years since we heard from them it's great to get some new music from these guys again.

WOLFCHANT Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands (2013)

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2013 · Folk Metal
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adg211288
(This review was originally written as an add-on to my Embraced by Fire review and should be read in context with that; I have split the review on MMA due to the decision to give releases like Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands 2013 their own entry. You can read the Embraced by Fire half of the review here: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/review/embraced-by-fire/282191)

For once though, this review doesn’t end there. After all, we still have a whole other disc to go: Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands 2013. As fate would have it, Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands is the only one out of the four prior Wolfchant full-lengths that I’m not fully familiar with. The most evident difference of course would be that Nortwin didn’t join the band until Call of the Black Winds (though he did guest on Determined Damnation) so his vocals take over some of the parts from Lokhi.

Recording albums is a classic fan-base dividing move if ever there was one. While fans that only got into them with Call of the Black Winds and Nortwin’s addition to the line-up will probably like the new Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands more than the original, if Nortwin’s addition wasn’t something to celebrate for you (?) then the new version may come across as a pointless exercise. And then there are fans like myself, who have enjoyed both the old and the new Wolfchant. To us, the prospect of such a reimagining of an earlier album when the band has evolved so much is interesting to say the least. And as I said in the review for Embraced by Fire above, Nortwin is such a commanding presence in the band that the end result can only be superior to the original album right?

Well as I said, I don’t actually know the original Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands, but I have heard a few songs in my time. Stylistically I always had the impression the album was very similar to its successor, A Pagan Storm, which is an album I do know very well. Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands 2013 indeed does hint a lot more at this sort of sound than Embraced by Fire itself does, but I also detect elements similar to the new Wolfchant, such as power metal elements but unlike Embraced by Fire Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands 2013 still sounds like much more the folk/black metal release. Vocally it’s more Call of the Black Winds though, with Lokhi once again coming across as Nortwin’s equal rather than playing second fiddle to him.

Fortunately though due to not being familiar with the original I have the benefit of being able to take in and rate Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands 2013 from a perspective free of prejudice and even expectations. Since these songs are older despite being brought up to date I do think it easy to hear how much Wolfchant have improved as a band compositionally. While there are highlights to be found, such as Clan of Cross and Mourning Red, much of the album comes across as being merely solid material, and if I were listening to this version of the album as their debut back in 2005 when the original was released I’d probably have thought it was the sort of album that would be hinting at better things to come from future albums. And since those future albums would have included Embraced by Fire and Call of the Black Winds, I’d have been right. Despite this being a rerecorded version the impact of the music invokes the same feelings albeit obviously without those thoughts of better things to come, as those better things are already here.

Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands 2013 was an interesting experience. I expect that should I go back now and hear the original I’d probably still prefer this version since Nortwin is on this one, and he’s a personal favourite of metal vocalists of mine. Perhaps conversely, seeing as I love the original, I’d like to hear what Wolfchant would come up with if they gave the same treatment to A Pagan Storm. For Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands 2013 a great album tier rating is deserved.

82/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org/wolfchant-embraced-by-fire-t2827.html))

WOLFCHANT Embraced By Fire

Album · 2013 · Power Metal
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Warthur
Offering up a folk-power metal mashup which is spiced up by influences from symphonic metal and melodic black metal, Wolfchant's Embraced By Fire finds the band slipping over the border into full-on power metal territory. If you're of the opinion that Wolfchant lost their way when they began playing down their black metal aspects, or if you prefer the folk side of their current sound to the power metal side, you're probably not going to be too into this one, because the centre of gravity has definitely shifted at this point - in particular, aside from Lokhi's vocals there really isn't much black metal in the mix at this point. However, if you're up for power metal with folksy influences crafted by a band who've had a wide enough experience of other metal genres to really add a dose of the unexpected to proceedings, it's a solid but not exceptional album.

As a nice touch, for the limited edition the band have included a bonus disc containing a rerecording of Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands. Frankly, I'm really not keen on album rerecordings (the rating here is based only on Embraced By Fire itself, for what it's worth) - my feeling is that bands should stand by their work and if they aren't satisfied it, use that dissatisfaction to learn and move on rather than going for a do-over - but I give Wolfchant points for finding a way to do it which doesn't feel like a complete scam. Providing the rerecording as a bonus disc for this set means everyone's happy: if you're not interested in the rerecording, you don't have to listen to it and the bonus disc can go be a coaster along with all the other bonus CDs you don't listen to, but if you are (or you didn't hear Bloody Tales the first time around) then bam, you get two albums on one set here.

WOLFCHANT Embraced By Fire

Album · 2013 · Power Metal
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adg211288
Embraced by Fire is the fifth full-length album by German folk metal act Wolfchant. It was released in 2013. The special edition of Embraced by Fire comes packaged with a new version of the debut Wolfchant album, Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands (2005). The new version is characterised by an updated sound which most notably covers the fact that on Wolfchant’s previous album Call of the Black Winds (2011) they expanded their sound to include a clean vocalist, Nortwin, alongside their established harsh vocalist Lokhi. As such Nortwin’s vocals play a prominent role in the new version of the debut, which I’ve taken to calling Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands 2013. Since Embraced by Fire is essentially two albums in one I’m going to dedicate this review to the both of them, starting with the new album, Embraced by Fire.

Embraced by Fire in terms of sound pretty much picks up where Call of the Black Winds left off. It doesn’t so much continue the diversification of the Wolfchant sound that began on that album, which moved them away from being a pure folk/melodic black metal act, but rather comes across as the end result of that experimentation. Their sound has actually reached the point where I struggle to identify them as a folk metal act first and foremost, where I had previous always done so. While I would say that there are more obvious folk elements on Embraced by Fire compared to Call of the Black Winds, the main driving force as I hear in the album is power metal, something which is further augmented by Nortwin’s presence on the album, as he is perhaps better known as Michael Seifert of the heavy/power metal act Rebellion. Is it pure power metal? No, but there’s certainly a lot of it here. And while there are still subtle elements of folk here both in melody and even the vocal delivery, the way Wolfchant were folk metal before in that their leads were folksy and dominate in the sound, is no longer really apparent. I would still just about call Embraced by Fire a folk-power metal album, but it’s in a much different sense to say artists like Elvenking or Falconer. And the album overall is yet different to anything Wolfchant has done before.

But Embraced by Fire is still more than just the work of a folk-power metal band. There are a lot of symphonic trappings to be found, as there were on Call of the Black Winds but they are used even more to be found here, while it arguably retains some of Wolfchant’s old black metal aspects since Lokhi is still here doing his black metal growl. Honestly though Lokhi is the only aspect of the old Wolfchant sound that is still in evidence on Embraced by Fire. Any other elements of black metal have long since been replaced, mostly by the power metal stuff.

Vocally sometimes it does feel at times that it’s Nortwin who’s running the show despite Lokhi being the original vocalist. Wolfchant proved they could be awesome as a folk/black metal act with A Pagan Storm (2007) but bringing Nortwin in was possibly the best move they’ve ever made in their career. Call of the Black Winds was an awesome return to form after the weaker Determined Damnation (2009) and it ended up one of my highest rated albums of 2011. Nortwin is such a commanding presence to front a band. Despite being listed as the clean vocalist his singing style is just as aggressive as Lokhi’s growls, except in the rare instances where he purposely takes things down a notch for a more mellow section, which he equally excels at. Nortwin and Lokhi do still complement each other vocally as they did on Call of the Black Winds, but that increased power metal element is, sadly, making original vocalist Lokhi into something of a spare wheel. Not really in the sense that his role is diminished in the overall sound or that he’s no good (he’s one of the best in his style as far as I’m concerned actually) but because Nortwin is that good and powerful the album reaches that point where I couldn’t care less if Lokhi was there or not.

Overall the new sound of Wolfchant sounds more directed than ever before, especially compared to Call of the Black Winds, a brilliant but perhaps ultimately a little chaotic album. In the hindsight that this new release gives me Call of the Black Winds seems very much the transitional album. Anyway the more focused sound will no doubt make Embraced by Fire an easier listen for those who may have found Call of the Black Winds difficult in the way it jumped about with a lot of influences.

The good thing is the compositional quality is still very high. The only song here that doesn’t manage to maintain quite the same regard from me is the closing Winters Triumph. It’s still excellent, but just doesn’t grab me in quite the same way as the rest. The rest of the songs though maintain that very high level of quality the band delivered on Call of the Black Winds. Personal favourites from the eight songs would be the title track, Autumns Breath, Einsame Wacht and Turning into Red. Freier Geist is also worth a mention on the more negative side. This song features some additional growls from Freki of the band Varg. His growl sounds a bit more hysterical than Lokhi’s. With my feelings on Lokhi already starting to feel like a spare wheel already documented in this review Freki’s presence here not only feels pointless, but also comes over as an inferior performance to Lokhi’s. Like with Winters Triumph it’s still an excellent song but I just don’t see the point in bringing in a guest who’s not going to bring anything to the table.

As with Call of the Black Winds Wolfchant have proved that they excel within their field and with Embraced by Fire being the album I’ve actually been expecting and indeed wanting to hear from them ever since Nortwin joined, I’m happy to award them once again with a top tier rating. I’d even say that they even outdid themselves on this one.

98/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org/wolfchant-embraced-by-fire-t2827.html))

WOLFCHANT Call of the Black Winds

Album · 2011 · Folk Metal
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Warthur
Opening with a synthesiser intro (Black Winds Rising) which takes on a rather melodramatic tone reminiscent of the soundtrack to a big budget fantasy movie, Wolfchant's Call of the Black Winds gets down to business properly on Stormwolves, and by the end of the album I'm still not sure what to make of them. There's mild folk influences and the odd sprinkling of synthesiser here and there to give the odd nod to symphonic metal, but on the whole I came away with the impression that the band were playing really rather ordinary death metal with the folk and symphonic influences tossed in to add flavour but not having any substantial effect on the baseline compositional approach, which is middle of the road death metal through and through. Still, I was very impressed by Lokhi's harsh vocals, since he has a very unique style which puts me in mind of some ancient wolf-demon's gutteral snarling and grumbling.

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