Black metal is something generally associated with Europe, which is why it’s so refreshing when a great black metal project is from the United States. Wolvhammer are a black metal band that bring in hints of sludge to create a great sound, and their new album, “The Monuments of Ash & Bone” is one of the best released so far this year. “Eternal Rotting Misery” opens this beast, and does so with a dark ambiance that sets the tone of evil that populates this album. This song is a heavy start, and features the first of the great riffs that are featured on this album. “Call Me Death” is next, and easily one of the highlights of this album. The opening is slower paced, and the tone here is dark as hell. Early on there is an amazing solo that hooks the listener. The second half slows down a bit, and be mix of clean and harsh vocals is executed well.
This is followed up by “Law of the Rope”, which immediately launches into a very fast riff, and an intro that is heavy as hell. While this song slows down, it doesn’t soften and stays just as heavy throughout. Up next is “Bathed in Moonblood and Wolflight” which opens with a very black riff. This song is a bit softer, but still definitely a heavy track. While this song isn’t a real standout, the riffs are solid and it continues the trend of solid songs on this album. “The Failure King” has a very heavy opening, and is a very evil sounding song. This song becomes much more melodic in the second half, and ends with a creepy ambient outro that feels unsettling. This leads into “Dead Rat, Rotting Raven”, which has a screechy opening before a solid drum section leads into the main body of the song. This song, more than any of the others, shows off the band’s sludge side, and while a bit different, still feels like a different side to the same sound.
“Solace Eclipsed” is the finally to this album, and it’s an experience. This is a much softer track compared to the rest of the album. The band ops for sections composed of a dark melody with a soft symphony, with some heavier sections spliced in. This eight-minute song might feel a little to different compared to the rest of the album, but the song is strong enough to negate that. This is a great album. While not every riff is amazing, and not every track is completely unique, this album is still a fantastic piece of black metal that shouldn’t be slept on.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Sam Hookom