WOLVES OF HATE – Battle Hymns And War Songs

WOLVES OF HATE - Battle Hymns And War Songs
  • 4/10
    WOLVES OF HATE - Battle Hymns And War Songs - 4/10


Iron Age Records
Release date: March 9, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

A chilling frosty winter cold has come to stay from Colorado, US. One thing is for sure is that the music it brought along with it is much frostier and will freeze your ears off. And yes, that’s not a good thing at all.

Presenting the Wolves Of Hate from the US of A. Basically, their main sub-genre in Metal is Black Metal but they try very hard to infuse it with Viking Metal.
Formed in 2006 in Colorado, the band didn’t release any other material besides their first official album, which came out this year, Battle Hymns And War Songs. Their influences flow from the Norwegian Black Metal scene and other Black Metal bands in general. In addition, there are the components of Viking / Folk Metal like the war horn, atmospheric keyboards and it ends with that. Similar bands, which still have much more to give, are Borknagar, Einherjer and Windir.

It is unknown where the production was originally done; from its quality it seems that it was a home recording. The leader of the band, Peter Slivkanch, has put a lot of effort into this release, that’s for sure, but the fact still remains, it didn’t come out well at all. The first attempt of this group to be recognized as a Viking Metal act, has failed miserably.

The sound production is no more than fair which consists of computerized drumming, too much bass volume in various parts and, at least, a nice guitar sound. Also, there are areas around the album where the keyboards are too much and in tracks like “Spoils Of War” and “Skol” they are choking the music.

The first thing that should not be in Metal is computerized drumming. If any band chooses to go through that ordeal, the drums should be much more complex than these, take your pick from six or something variations, drum lines. Viking Metal is not just the Extreme Metal element with Black or Death growls. It holds a complexity that makes it powerful. Even if the listener is not all into that Viking stuff, he still remains with the music that is the key factor, and primarily, the drum line. It won’t change a thing if there are various tempos, the lines still sound the same and it can be noticed easily.

There were many parts of the drum line that weren’t always synchronized with the rhythm of the guitars and made the songs harder to swallow. Moreover, the drum line’s volume in several areas is too high and in some, too low like in the track “Skol”. The drum line should be more constant.

Coming on to the material section to find out that it’s okay, in general, but still lacks stuff, mainly in the music, that could have made this release far greater than it is now.

For starters the most important part in Metal, the guitars. It’s great to sound heavy and destructive, but sounding heavy is not the only thing, there should be more depth to it. In this release there is, more than enough, usage of the same guitar rhythm, over and over, but in different tempos. After the first track, it’s okay, the second one also, but when almost all tracks are alike, regarding the rhythm guitar, it gets really annoying. For example: similarities between “Berserker” and “Cold Heart Of Winter”, “Blood, Death and Honor” and “Skol” and there are a couple more. In this sub-genre, like other progressive ones in Metal, the music should be more diverse, the guitars in particular. Adding a load of keyboards won’t do any more wonders if the guitars are not more interesting.

As far as the lyrics go, Peter’s work here is pretty standard. The lyrics abide by the Viking Metal code with tales about brutal victories, Valhalla, the Gods of the Vikings, war remnants and the list goes on. The contributions from Black Metal are the themes of winter, forests and darkness.

Peter Slivkanch is the chief contributor in this release. He is in charge of the vocals, one of the rhythm guitars and the drum programming. His best feature is his vocal ability with Black Metal growls and screams that in a way makes some tracks sound like a Norwegian thing. All in all , the band around him, the other two members, aren’t doing anything special, just trying to keep the rhythm in check.

Unfortunately, the tracks on Battle Hymns And War Songs , are less than okay, even some of them are mediocre efforts to perform Viking Metal. Although, from all this mess there are three tracks that made the cut. “Chaos In The Skies” makes it through as the almost complex track of them all with a charging start and great vocals by Peter. The wintery epic , “Cold Heart Of Winter” , provides no shelter from the cold with Blackish melodic trills and a measure of speed. The closer “Triumph In Flames” draws the last line with a solid ending to this endeavor.

The first attempt made by the Wolves Of Hate could have been far better than this one. The first thing they have to do is work with a human drummer. Second, they have to become more familiarized with Viking Metal and its complexity. If they will go through those changes, and will use Peter’s experience, their second album will be, indeed, a success.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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