Wolvenguard - Elemental Reclamation
Self released
Melodic Death Metal
3 songs (13'08")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

You can be forgiven to wrongly guess the country of origin for Wolvenguard, if your first experience with Elemental Reclamation comes with no warning or information about the band. If you were to name a locale anywhere in Scandinavia, Finland, or some other place in Northern Europe I would nod in approval and complement you on the guess. Yet, Wolvenguard comes to us from Texas of all places, but the three tracks from this debut EP speak Norse metal all the way.

Wolvenguard members gained their earlier experience with Vesperian Sorrow (symphonic black), Cerebral Desecration (death/thrash) or Oblivion (doom), but Elemental Reclamation, from title track and throughout, is dripping with epic tremolo melodies which will either make Olavi Mikkonen (Amon Amarth) proud of the progeny the Swedes spawned or have him search for pages missing from his musical folder. Swell upon melodic swell, Wolvenguard do not seize bringing it, with somewhat mechanical machine-like double bass, culminating in pinnacle solos. The band calls themselves archaic blackened metal, but I am not sure what archaic is about Elemental Reclamation production, since J-F Dagenois (Kataklysm) made everything sound 3-dimensional and powerful. This is rather melancholic melodic death metal, with brooding melodies of old era Insomnium, especially when Wolvenguard goes a little slower and groovier (Vangrymst, beginning of Formless Aeons). Epic buildups very much non-stop, the band easily manages to send chills down thy spine as towering as this EP sounds.

The only blackened reference I could think of when listening to Elemental Reclamation was the dual nature of Wolvenguard vocals. Just like Amon Amarth, the vocals on the EP are of dual variety. Although not as deep chested as Johan Hegg is in his deathly form, Wolvenguard vocalist (Jake Wayman) also goes for some vomitous shrieks, but as he is also helped by just about every bandmember chiming in. The vocals on the EP sound like a troupe of sorrowful Vikings hoping to reach the shore despite overwhelming odds against them.

Elemental Reclamation breathes unexpected quality and powerful conviction. If Amon Amarth, less modern ‘core Kataklysm or latter day, yet much warmer sounding, Immortal is something you like, this EP will pleasantly surprise.

Killing Songs :
All are pretty good
Alex quoted no quote
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