E.P. Review: Wolfheart – Skull Soldiers

E.P. Review: Wolfheart - Skull Soldiers
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

Having started out as a solo project in 2013, Tuomas Saukkonen got Wolfheart into real shape in 2015 with second album ‘Shadow World’ which saw the project develop into a cohesive unit which has produced albums consistently ever since, the most recent being ‘Wolves of Karelia’ in 2020.

Like many bands amid the ongoing pandemic, creative output is key. Wolfheart have followed up that acclaimed album with ‘Skull Soldiers’, an E.P. that provides their fanbase with two blistering new tracks as well as two interesting rarities.

With Vagelis Karzis once more adding session guitar to the band, the two new tracks, ‘Skull Soldiers’ and Hereditary continue the theme started on ‘Wolves of Karelia’. That album followed tales of the crack unit of Finnish soldiers with skulls and skeletons on their helmets during the Winter War. Both tracks are traditional melodic death metal in style, with driving blastbeats and ferocious riffing, combined with Saukkonen’s trademark gruff vocals. Meaty songs that continue in the Wolfheart tradition.

The rarities are noteworthy. Firstly, is an acoustic version of ‘Aeon of Cold’ which originally featured on ‘Shadow World’. This track sees bassist Lauri Silvonen take lead vocals in a chilling, eerie version, his clean vocals adding a different dimension to the song. The second track is ‘Reaper’, recorded during the band’s live stream from early in 2020. Taken from the ‘Wolves of Karelia’ album, it’s a driving, heavy and powerful track that demonstrates the band’s strength live.

Probably an E.P. more for the diehard fan, ‘Skull Soldiers’ continues with the high-quality melodic death metal that Wolfheart are very much a part of. In these dark times, this is a decent appetiser for the band’s next full-length release.

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