The Wolves of Avalon are the latest incarnation of Metatron from The Meads of Asphodel, who will always hold a special place in my heart; one of the most unique and underrated UK Metal bands out there.
I was looking forward to hearing this album due to this and I haven’t been disappointed. This is as impressive and ambitious as anything he’s done before, (his work that I’ve heard, at least), more so in some respects. Sounding like early Meads only with a heavy Folk/Pagan slant, this is pure ear candy.
The album starts with a light, classical instrumental, at least that’s what I think it’s going to be until Metatron’s inimitable vocals kick in halfway through and then guitars and drums come in shortly after.
The album is heavily orchestrated and features wonderfully diverse instrumentation and female accompaniment. These are hugely impressive and extremely well-done. The band don’t neglect the Metal component of their sound, however.
The dynamics and sense of energy given off by the tracks is strong, and the whole album is a veritable treasure trove of gems and delights. The songwriting is impeccable and Metatron’s voice seems to be getting better with age. Some of the vocal harmonies used, especially when twinned with the female vocals, are just hair-raising.
Some of the best bits are extremely subtle but do wonders for the songs. The barely audible female sighs/noises on Bonded by Blood and Sword is just one example of many; you can only just hear them in the background but for such a small addition the song is enhanced so much.
There are pulse-raising sections, slower atmosphere-building parts, Black Metal rage, Progressive Metal explorations, huge choruses and sublime melodies – there is so much here to enjoy and be spellbound by.
This is an hour of interesting, captivating and unique Metal that everyone should ideally have the privilege of hearing. Do yourself a favour and go and listen to this.
Final thoughts? Fantastic album. This is a contender for the Album of the Year slot.
Favourite Track: Iceni Queen Unfurl’d In A Tempest Of Crows. Fucking Hell!