Wampyric Rites – The Wolves Howl to the Moon (Review)

Wampyric Rites - The Wolves Howl to the MoonWampyric Rites are a black metal band from Ecuador and this is their second album.

The Wolves Howl to the Moon contains 35 minutes of raw, undergound, old-school black metal. There’s no messing around; Wampyric Rites mean business.

The songs are hideously ancient and authentically second wave. Listening to The Wolves Howl to the Moon is like stepping into the frozen forests of the 90s once more. I’m definitely biased, but I can find very little fault with this sort of thing, it just ticks all of the boxes for me. Dark melodies? Check. Malevolent groove? Check. Needle-thin piercing screams? Check. Pitch black growls? Check. Raw-yet-effective production? Check.

Oh, and the synths. The band’s use of synths is both striking and immersive, covering the raw blackened core of the band in atmospheric layers. Many bands of this type use synths, but Wampyric Rites have truly mastered the art of embedding them firmly in their material.

Of course, it’s not just about the band’s use of synths; they have the full package. The guitars combine blackened melody with malignant riffs well, and the main vocals are very high pitched screams that can shred flesh.  I like the deeper growls that occasionally appear too. Both the vocals and the melodies are especially satisfying and well-performed.

There are four main songs, (along with a surprisingly effective interlude half way through the album), and each one offers many dark gems for explorers of the black metal underworld to uncover. I’m sure many will write off Wampyric Rites due to their classic, old-school sound, but that’s their loss. I have thoroughly enjoyed The Wolves Howl to the Moon, and heartily recommend it for anyone with a passion for the second wave.

Favourite Track: Rites under the Fullmoon. Pick any song in this album and you’ll be treated to something tasty, but this track stands out with its sinister air and crazily infectious synths.

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