The Wolves of Avalon – Across Corpses Grey

The Wolves of Avalon - 'Across Corpses GreyThe Wolves Of Avalon are from UK, founded by Metatron (known from The Meads Of Asphodel) and James Marinos as a pagan metal project taking its name from the Celtic vision of paradise being and island of eternal happiness owned by women. Their debut album, ‘Carrion Crows Over Camlan,’ was released in 2011 and dedicated to Quorthon. The band recorded a split promo with The Meads Of Asphodel in 2014. The same year they released their second full-length, ‘Boudicca’s Last Stand’. 2015’s 7″ vinyl single featured a cover of Venom’s ‘Die Hard’ and The Wolves’ original song ‘Carrion Crows Reprise’.
This year the band released ‘Across Corpses Grey.’ Although it is described as a full-length album, it rather seems like a giant single for it consists of one 30-minute-long Wolves’ authorial piece and two covers to complete it.
The title track focuses on the period in Britain’s history known as The War Of The Roses, which was basically a war for the throne of England between the Yorks and the Lancasters (both branches of the House of Plantagenet). The name of it comes from the heraldic badges of the houses: the White Rose for the Yorks and the Red Rose for the Lancasters.
The piece begins with sounds of falling rain and singing birds. Then a barking dog joins and later we can hear a galloping horse. The calmness of this image is rather grim, evoking a picture of the battlefield carpeted with corpses, with no one left to make any sound. There is just nature. Then a voice speaks of the destruction the war brought. The voice belongs to SYG:AR:TYR’s Daemonskald. The languid guitar solo (played by Fiddler, ironically) backed by an ambient keyboard is a modern version of a bard lamenting over the killed people and an expression of sadness because of the damage around. Five minutes later the drums come in with a marching sound and the poem of the war fully spreads its wings. The piece unfolds into an epic metal work. It contains many interesting elements. One of them is an amazing solo played by a wind instrument – can it be saxophone? The track consists of many parts that are sometimes hard and forceful and sometimes mellow and chilled. The individual character of the movements is also very diverse. Some heavier parts use harsh vocals while the other ones use clean singing. The melodies are shared evenly between the flutes, guitars and vocals, each of them taking over at various times. The excellent balance of these elements helps maintain the listener’s interest.
After the musical feast that is ‘Across Corpses Grey’ there comes a cover of Nokturnal Mortum’s ‘The Voice of Steel’. It is exactly the same song, just played by someone else. Venoms’ ‘Die Hard’ is a little slower than the original song and has some harmonies added by the guitars and the keyboard but other than that it is not much different.
The release features an army of guest artists that are (besides the already mentioned ones): Thurios (Drudkh), Hildr Valkyrie, Alan Averill (Primordial), Rob Miller (Amebix), Mirai (Sigh). The last three ones contributed vocally to ‘Die Hard’. The track also contains parts by the original Venom guitarist, Mantas.

Released on 15/03/2016, Godreah Records

1. Across Corpses Grey
2. The Voice of Steel (Nokturnal Mortum cover)
3. Die Hard (Venom cover)

7,5/10

 

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