Wrathrone – Reflections of Torment (2018)

Wrathrone’s most recent release, Reflections of Torment, is my current frontrunner for 2018 Album of the Year. This is the second full-length release from these Finnish death metallers, and it is an ass-kicking ten-track slab of old-school death metal.

Wrathrone - Reflections of Torment

In style, it reminds me more of early 90’s Swedish death metal than the typically-more-chaotic older Finnish stuff. There are a number of spots where other influences stand out, from the bits of Cannibal groove in Gut Goddess and the Ghoulish bass and guitar breaks in Bloodline to the Ares Kingdomesque thematic leadwork of Dead Inside Me. Then there’s Bloodshroud, which is pretty much a Bolt Thrower clone (this is a good thing).

The tempo and pacing of the songs are quite varied, avoiding the monotony that can otherwise develop. Good use of tempo changes keeps the individual songs engaging as well; really solid riffing helps here too.

Performance-wise, everything here is aces; design-wise everything is by-and-large in keeping with old-school Swedeath: a largely d-beat-driven rhythm section with occasional blasty or rock-style passages, supporting tremolo-picking-heavy riffing that is accented by reverb-drenched thematic leadwork and rifflets. Primary vocals are an excellent deeper growl, alternated occasionally by a more blackish raspy snarl.

Production is cleanish, and about typical for the style. If you love old Entombed, Dismember and Grave, this can’t miss.

Standout tracks: Bloodshroud, When All Light Died, By Dawn They’ll Hang.

(c) 2018 Old Man Metal

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