If Dissection, Children Of Bodom, and Wintersun were to create the most atmospheric, luxurious and visually painted albums it would be California’s Symphonic black/melodic death metal band Northwind Wolves. These guys have created a fantastic debut through Black Lion Records being 2017’s Dark… Cold… Grim… which built a unique variation and symphonic strains of extreme music that exploited to other influential artists in the genre such as Emperor and many more. Now with the second full-length with Mountains And Darkness, things start to get more melancholic, darker and presented a evolution to kick things back up after their debut ended.
From death metal inspired melodies, heavy emphasis on animated, technical and established signatures of wonderfully crafted instrumentation work and stellar musicianship to present themselves being hungrier than ever before, they’ve started to play a shimmering, methodical, suicidal, and occult style of symphonic black metal while also borrowing components of the 90’s melodic death metal Gothenburg influences in their songwriting which captivated their sound to be quite exciting and fulfilling.
Just take the tracks Death Of The Lost World, Before Dawns First Light, A Knight Called Death and Curse Of Ages, all these songs here bring out transitional, naturalistic, and cohesive structures that almost reminded me of something I would hear out of a Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child or Limbonic Art album due to their fatalistic approach. Not only the album artwork, logo and presentation of this release is phenomenal in its own retrospective view but, this is extremely a highly engaging odyssey through world of darkness, despair, and wintry frost that’ll carry all sorts of aesthetics and booming characteristics all packed into one compact package. Mountains And Darkness brings out the next chapter from these Californians to share their influences on mid 90’s Norwegian black metal paradigm and one of the most well tributed releases for symphonic black metal and 2019 altogether.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler