Genre: Old School Death Metal
Label: Xtreem Music
Deathchain are relatively known in the underground scene and considered a solid Finnish death / thrash metal band, plus their hefty discography has some really good albums.
A lesser known fact is that the band were previously known as Winterwolf, between the years 2000-2001, before becoming to Deathchain in 2002. The band had released to demos as Winterwolf before changing name, and their sound back then was raw and closer to pure death metal.
Some of the band members decided to bring Winterwolf back to life in 2006, while Deathchain were still active, and their first and only album so far, Cycle of the Werewolf, was released three years later, in 2009. Antti from Demilich also took a part in the album.
I ordered the record when it was first released because I wanted to fill a request, but a fun fact is that I initially wanted to buy a CD version. I was confused and ordered an LP version instead, which was a big surprise to me when the package arrived.
I didn't (and don't) have my own turntable, and it was impossible to rip the album into my computer, and back then it was still not available online. I had the LP and couldn't listen to it, only after a couple of years when I used a friend's vinyl player. But at first, I was really eager to listen to it, I had it and still it was impossible for me.
Cycle of the Werewolf is obsessed with fullmoon and wolves, as in its booklet, the band has used simplistic, black and white drawings of werewolves transforming and similar scenes. All the lyrics and most of the booklet text is in classic, lovable old English font.
The tracks are all revolving around that subject, and the album was: mastered at Studio Perkele (Finnish as fuck), recorded at Moonlight Studios during fullmoon. Winterwolf are so focused on this classic horror theme, that it's what separates them from the rest of the death metal scene. The guys have all the time they want to express themselves through Deathchain, so they can go with something graphic and straightforward in a side project.
Musically, Cycle of the Werewolf is not a revolution, but stays in Swedish / Finnish old school death metal ideas. The production is harsh and there also is a cover of the legendary track "Cenotaph" by Bolt Thrower.
I have Winterwolf close to my heart because, through my ordering mistake, it was the first LP I ever bought when I first started collecting in 2008 - 2009. I used to get CDs then, but it's funny that my first LP came around like that.
The band released a split with Disma in 2011 (review here) but haven't done much since. Cycle of the Werewolf is intended for fans of old school death metal, and people who have been into the genre for some time. A second album by them is a kinky dream for me but I don't mind them staying in the shadows like that.
The album title is very possibly inspired by an awesome short horror story by none other than Stephen King, released in 1983. You can find some information about this book at Wikipedia.
1. Intro to Death
2. Phantoms of Madness
3. Cemetary by Night
4. Lycanthropic Aeons
5. nataS fo tsaeB
6. All Shall Be Eaten
7. Shadows, Howling and Doom
8. Wolf Skin Mask
9. Return to the Shadow of Death
10. Cenotaph (Bolt Thrower cover)
Similar to: early Entombed, Dismember
Café suggestions: Phantoms of Madness, Wolf Skin Mask, All Shall Be Eaten