Whilst the Scandinavian nations have become infamous for its exportation for black metal, the UK scene has been blossoming with talent over the past decade and WINTERFYLLETH are a band at the epicentre of this boom. The past ten years have seen the Mancunian outfit soar up the ranks in black metal and now, the band have been hitting the road in their homeland to reflect on their first decade as a band.
Opening proceedings for the evening was NECRONAUTICAL, another product of the UK’s blossoming black metal scene. Whilst the band don’t have the reach or wealth of material compared to the night’s headliners, NECRONAUTICAL served as a fine opening act; one which fitted the bill rather well indeed. Sharp and speedy riffs from Carcarrion and Naut whilst a barrage of blast beats from Slugh kept the momentum at break neck speed throughout the band’s short opening set and Naut‘s vocal lines held their own in the mix. A solid opening set for a band that showcases the wealth of talent within UK black metal.
Unfortunately the same can’t be said for WIEGEDOOD. With two of the Belgian trio operating in OATHBREAKER, who enjoyed a soar in success in the past 12 months, there was an air of curiosity surrounding their more straight-up black metal output, but the band just failed to deliver anything memorable here. Whilst the isolated and post-metal influenced lead guitar play from Gilles Demolder created a solid atmosphere which held a flair of creativity and when the band stepped up a gear the speed was utterly menacing, yet the overall impact of WIEGEDOOD in the live environment felt subdued. This was mostly down to a glaring issue in the band’s sound mix, which severely impacted Levy Seynaeve‘s vocal deliveries which could hardly be heard against the chaotic wall of sound throughout large portions of their set. A disappointing problem that subdued WIEDGEDOOD‘s overall impact.
Throughout their first decade as a band WINTERFYLLETH have demonstrated that they boast the quality to compete with the biggest names in black metal and a performance dedicated to their first ten years oozed quality and class. Consistently throughout their performance the band brought their expansive soundscape to the live environment and it translated incredibly well. Fusing razor-sharp riffing together with blistering rhythms from drummer Simon Lucas kept the pace of the band surging forward whilst Chris Naughton expertly dispatched growled vocal lines that were easily audible over the large wall of sound. But when Naughton combined with Nick Wallwork and Dan Capp‘s backing vocals to dispatch chants and haunting cleans, it washed over the audience preserving the atmosphere that is so crucial to their sound.
Whilst many bands today use anniversaries to perform an iconic album in its entirety, WINTERFYLLETH reflected on their first decade by performing a rich set composed of material across all their studio records which worked a treat to the crowd who lapped up every song. From the euphoric atmosphere of The Swart Raven, the peaceful and idyllic guitar play of Forsaken In Stone to gems such as The Ghost of Heritage and Mam Tor (The Shivering Mountain), WINTERFYLLETH left no stone unturned. It was a thoroughly enjoyable performance to witness, one which demonstrates that WINTERFYLLETH are not only a shining star in black metal, but UK metal on the whole.
Check out our photo gallery of the night’s action in Manchester from Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography here: