My personal meaning about German Paganers Wolfchant is an ‘up-and-down’ opinion. Both first albums (Bloody Tales Of Disgraced Lands and A Pagan Storm, released in, respectively, 2005 and 2007, through CCP) were acceptable, yet nothing more. Then they signed to Massacre. 2009’s Determined Damnation for sure was their best effort to date, but Call Of The Black Winds (2011) was a disappointing step backwards. The review I wrote about this album, by the way, is still available; check out the archives section, but you’ll find out I was extremely disappointed.
The septet (nowadays, or better: on this fifth full length, Wolfchant consist of seven members: Ragnar, Lokhi, Nortwin, Gvern, Sarolv, Norgahd and Skaahl) now signed to NoiseArt’s roster, and they do release this new studio recording (registered at Forte Fortissimo Studio with Andre Hofmann behind the panel) with Bloody Tales … as bonus-CD.
Embraced By Fire combines elements from all former albums, yet at the same time it does progress in comparison to the past. Things already get clear after the first song, the title track (preceded by a nameless intro, FYI). Epic / Power / Folk / Pagan / Black / Death / Heavy / Symphonic / Melodic Metal, both modern and catchy, constructed with opposition and familiarity; it’s a German impression of trans-European expression with a modern approach on perdurable Metal.
This album is not as boring as its predecessor, but what’s wrong with trying to cross the lines? Why not to try to cross those safe borders? Wasn’t the past less evident and safe, yet at least much more adventurous? Embraced By Fire is way too safe, too goody-goody, too naïve and, therefore, unfortunately, way too infantile. No glory, no victory…