WOLFSLAIR - Odin (ANCIENT DARKNESS - CD 2005)
I’m not going here to dispute why Denmark – country which geographically is so closely located to Norway or Sweden – has never managed to create a similarly giant, great and respected black metal scene. No, I am not going to guess why and neither I am gonna say which Danish bands were able to match the quality of Swedish and Norwegian legends… because there were not so many, really. It is just rare to hear a great quality black metal from there. Ancient Darkness Productions came with help and introduced me to one such band, which immediately became my favourite black metal act from Denmark. They’re called Wolfslair! It’s not a new band, also because the roots of it has been seeded in the early 90’s… but then a decade long break happened, until 2005 when an album titled “Odin” was recorded. And damn, this is some seriously crushing violent and damn merciless black metal ferocity here! You gotta love it!
Wolfslair is far from winning the “most original, sophisticated and outstanding band” prize. No, they’re playing pretty common black metal, based on harsh production with music filled with utterly fast, uncompromising playing, which sometimes becomes as chaotic as some bestial black / war / however you call it bands. And as such I think that Wolfslair reminds me some Finnish black metal acts; without giving you any names, as maybe it is just unnecessary? I also think that they surely managed to create a truly possessed, dark and abrasive, cold and violent atmosphere on their album. Yes, a majority of “Odin” is concentrating on the ferocious, brutal riffing… but on entirely, as despite having the focus on the most extreme and chaotic means (listen to “Praise the Lord” for instance, which will really fierce and extreme!), Wolfslair also find some space for slower stuff, even using some brief keyboards or acoustics here and there or even more laconic melodies. Take the opening track “Horder” as an example. What a fine song! But there’s very little space for such parts and as overall “Odin” is bestial, pure sonic onslaught with harsh vocals, furious riffs and raw production… but not primitive! I also really like such “Tapre Krigere”, which reminds me some early Gorgoroth and is a real killer… Also “In the Light of the Fullmoon”, which is the only such slow track here, is worth being mentioned. Generally though the entire “Odin” is just a solid and good album, I really enjoyed it.
And you know… at first I maybe wasn’t so much impressed, but after some listens I liked it more and more and I definitely think that Wolfslair is more than just a mediocre black metal band. I recommend you “Odin” then… Remember that there’re two versions: one, which I have, is the digipack CD, but there’s also a nice bloody LP version, which contains also some old 90’s demos!
Standout tracks: “Horder”, “In the Light of the Fullmoon”, “Tapre Krigere”
Final rate: 70/100