Grieve is back with otherworldly black metal on their second album, Wolves Of The Northern Moon.
It was only in 2020 that Grieve formed in Finland. After an EP and a split, the band released their first album, Funeral, in 2022. That album has been described as a “fiercely focused one, solely featuring funereal marches by V-Khaoz and last rites by Werwolf.” And then they disbanded for reasons unknown, to me at least. Coming back together now and writing new music, Wolves Of The Northern Moon is a different beast altogether. These songs rip and tear.
“Wolves of the Wintermoon” opens with some coughing up of phlegm and spitting of the glob. Welcome to Grieve. Knee kicking black metal proceeds then with a great riff that steams toward a downshift in tempo just before midway. The croaking, hissing vocals sell the ideas the guitars are laying down. It is a good start. “Ancient Enemy of Life” is next, and it is a battering attack. The crackling laughter is a creepy punctuation to an already rattling track. “Twilight Woods” scratches your eyes and boxes your ears, and then “Damnation Nocturne” leaves a traditional taste in your mouth of dark, insidious black metal poison.
Side two starts with “Glacier,” the briefest track of the set, and one of the fiercest. It is a two-minute meat chopping melee. “Deep in the Ice-Cold Mountains” is a little more along the black and roll line, although I wouldn’t call it catchy, and the tempo and chaos do get cranked up as the tune progresses – the vocals become mournful in their strained pleadings. “Eternal Winter, Eternal War” takes its time, deploying doom metal weaponry and fighting a campaign of attrition. It is a great shift at this point in the album, and it sets up perfectly the maniacal final song, “The Dark Storm of Death.” I am glad to see the band go in this direction with their reformation because this is an excellent album. Recommended.
Wolves Of The Northern Moon hits the streets on Friday, March 31st through Werewolf Records on CD and vinyl. In the US, try the Hells Headbangers shop at the link below to get a copy.
Hells Headbangers, https://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/grieve-wolves-of-the-northern-moon.asp
Werewolf Records, https://www.werewolf.fi/
© Wayne Edwards