Winterfylleth are one of those bands that I always think I should have gotten around to listening to by now, but never have. As such, this live album seemed like as good a place as any to sample their wares. Containing five live tracks taken from the band’s first four albums, and a synth version of a track off their second album The Mercian Sphere, we are overall presented with 49 minutes of material in its entirety.
The first five tracks were recorded live at the UK’s Bloodstock Festival in 2017. The sound is clear and rich, and can’t really be faulted. Frequently the weak point on many a live album, there are no issues here. How faithful these versions are to the originals I can’t say, but I like what I hear, and each of the songs are really strong. The music is atmospheric black metal, delivered with skill and presence. It’s not lacking in quality, either. The songs are epic and emotive, underpinned by careful songwriting and a fiery heart. Folk elements can be heard here and there, and the band’s occasional use of well-performed soaring cleans is well-judged.
I don’t know the original, but the synth version of Children of the Stone is compelling and dark, full of ominous mood and sinister character. At 10 minutes in duration it’s the longest track here, but it holds the attention for the entire time.
As my first introduction to the band it’s a notable one, and the songs on this release definitely make me want to check out the rest of the band’s work. The Siege of Mercia is a fine introduction to the world of Winterfylleth.