Release: 1 December 2017
Label: Inverse Records
Every time an album, or in this case an EP, is released with the word ‘Wolf’ in it, I want to know what’s going on. Since several decades I am a wolf stuff collector. I blame my wife, because she told me to start a collection, so that she could look out for presents for my birthday and Christmas. Eventually I discovered that wolves are rather common in the metal society. Lots of bands like Powerwolf, Wolfchant, Manegarm (look the wolf connection up), album and song titles refer to this magnificent creature. So, seeing Wolfhorde up for grabs, I took my chance.
Now, this here is a tribute to the roots of Finnish folk metal, judging by the cover. Three songs originally performed by Finntroll, Moonsorrow and Amorphis. And here is the first hesitation. I wouldn’t categorize Amorphis as folk metal. Finntroll, yeah, but Moonsorrow as a maybe. If we look beyond this possible problem, there is the selection of songs. Again, choosing ‘Jaktens Tid’ as a Finntroll cover makes sense. But is Kylän Päässä really the most folky song ever by Moonsorrow? And Sign from the North Side by Amorphis? I am not a genre fanatic, but I could choose more folkier songs for both bands.
Now let’s forget our previous hesitations and listen to the songs. If you would not know these songs are covers, Wolfhorde would become your new favourite band, no questions asked. But in fact, these are covers. So you have to ask yourself, why would this band release this EP in this moment of their career? To show that they master their instruments? There was no doubt about that in their previous releases. To hail their fellow countrymen’s legacy? That would be a rather odd point to make. If you like their songs so much, why don’t you play them in the rehearsal studio and maybe live if you feel like it. To release an EP with these songs, tastes like a craving for airplay. And, to be honest, the band deserves the attention. It’s just that it would be nicer if they would achieve this on their own. This way, there is no escaping a comparison with the original versions. And in doing that, the original versions win hands down. There is a reason for these songs to be part of the Finnish metal culture. That has to do with timing, being original, sounding the way you do. Wolfhorde doesn’t really put their own stamp on the songs. I could listen to this EP for the rest of my life and die happy. But it really doesn’t add much to either the scene or the band’s discography.
- Jaktens Tid (Finntroll cover)
- Kylän Päässä (Moonsorrow cover)
- Sign From The North Side (Amorphis cover)