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F U L L . R E V I E W S

Towards the Gate of North
Type: CD
Company: Inverse
Release: 2016
Genre: Heavy/Extreme
Reviewer: Greg Watson
The musical landscape is expansive and massive
Finnish Folk Metal wizards Wolfhorde have given us one of the greatest finds so far for 2016 with 'Towards the Gate of North'. With a mixture of LOTR, Pagan, Folk and Black Metal, this album is one of the most eclectic and fascinating finds since my first exposure to Xanthochroid. The musical landscape is expansive and massive enough to hear a different instrument or progression every time you listen to it. Iíve listened to this album five times already and have heard something that I missed on my previous listens each time through. Musically this reminds me of the best parts of the LOTR soundtrack with traditional Scandinavian instruments added for additional atomsphere. The vocals are some of the most expressive and emotive that Iíve heard in a good while with singer Hukkapatka delivering melancholic, joyful, pissed off and pained vocals to really lend to the feeling of the songs while doubling on drums! Multi-instrumentalist Werihukka shines on the guitar but also on the myriad of other instruments he touches. Bassist Nuoskajalka, not to be outdone, delivers some really impressive work, keeping up with the frantic yet structured soundscapes the band follows. This is one of the few albums where Iím struggling to find the words to describe just how incredible and moving these songs are. This album is what metal is all about to me. You feel the lyrics and the music deep inside your soul and if you close your eyes, you are transported to Europe in the time of the Vikings and are there charging your way through invasions and high sea adventures, fighting your way to Ragnarok and the ultimate honor of reaching Valhalla. I could go on and on but itís best for you to experience it for yourself. This one is definitely best enjoyed through headphones or a really solid sound system. Hands down the most fascinating, enchanting and absorbing release Iíve heard in the last two years.

About this Writer:
Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

All reviews for Wolfhorde:
Towards the Gate of NorthWolfhorde
Greg Watson7/25/2016

All interviews for Wolfhorde:

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