Wolf Counsel – Initivm
Release Date: 30/09/22
Running Time: 56:00
Review by Paul Hutchings
Although Wolf Counsel may have formed in Switzerland, this international band has now laid down deep roots in Ireland. It may be no surprise then, to find that their music is dark, gloomy, filled with mournful vocals and crashing riffs.
“Invitim” is the band’s fifth full-length album and if you like your Doom filled with funeral pace, then this should be one for you to check out. The band is steeped in the sound of the 1970’s, capturing the feel of the time alongside a more contemporary feel. Big riffs, swirling passages and strong, thunderous percussion is very much the order of the day.
Formed in 2014, the band have been proactive musically, with 2019’s “Destination Void” their most recent release. Drawing their influences from a wide range of bands, notably Cathedral, Solitude and Aeturnus, the band are bolstered by the arrival of new singer Con Doyle who joined in 2021. His vocal range provides a wide scope to deliver the mythical lyrics that explore death and days gone by.
With most songs lingering around the six-minute mark, this isn’t an album for those who want a quick hit, rather, it’s an investment into a deep journey through haunting passages, complex movements, and heaviness itself. Whilst every track is slow, there are some moves away from the traditional Doom plod. The title track does at least have sections where the pace picks up, although the crushing parts soon dominate the title track.
First single ‘Farewell’ anchors the album, and by the time you have reached it, you’ll be familiar with Doyle’s unique harmonies, his delivery, and the way he weaves his vocals around the band’s hammering layers of Doom. There’s little to disappoint if you are fan of heavy riffs that cascade like a waterfall from start to finish. But there is also plenty of versatility hidden within the album. ‘Raven Dawn’ is just one example, the punishing grind punctuated by flashes of slicing lead guitar that appears.
The musicianship is first rate throughout, main songwriter Ralf W. Garcia is no mean bass player, his low-end rumble locking in tightly with drummer Reto Crola. Songs of death are delivered on an epic scale, each track bringing its own story and subtly different style. Ultimately, Invitim is a release that should be on your radar if you are a fan of anyone from Sabbath to Trouble, Candlemass to Sleep.
‘Aeons’ Official Audio
05. The Old Ways
07. Raven Dawn
08. On Stranger Shores
Andreas Reinhart – Guitars
Ralf W. Garcia – Bass, Vocals
Ralph P. Huber – Guitars
Con Doyle – Vocals
Reto Crola – Drums
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