Symphonic Black Metal is personally my favorite metal genre which makes reviewing albums from symphonic black metal bands really tough because if it isn’t done right with true passion in the music, then it ends up being a bad release. ERED WETHRIN has perfected their sound to where many think of Summoning or Liar of Golgotha when listening to this debut release titled Tides of War from the Salt Lake City, Utah native. The solo work has been and remains the solo project of Sven Smith since 2004. The album is, for the most part, a compilation of Sven’s material that he has written over the years.
The musicianship by Sven is precise, clean and well written. Each track feels like the embarking of a viking raid and just capturing the moments of victory and triumph. Hearing this album will remind listeners of Scandinavian artists like Thy Serpent and Wallachia as well as more classic black metal with some symphonic influences like Satanic Warmaster, Dark Fortress and Ancient. Lyrically the songs do speak of epic fantasy themes such as Black Company, Horus Heresy, and Malazan Book of the Fallen just to name a few.
There truly is nothing bad I could say about the release. The guitar work is strong and epic as that of said noted earlier bands as well as all other instruments on the album. The vocals are very unearthly and haunting as if the ancient spirits are speaking of gallant wars. A highly recommended album and the perfectly blended debut release by Ered Wethrin which surely could sit on your shelf next to all the other great black metal artists you own because this album will surely become a classic over the years.