If you were to ask us “name your favorite modern guitar players” we would have quite a list of people we have been influenced by and enjoy the most. Devin Townsend of course tops our list (probably forever) but one of the names that is in our top 5 is Samoth, famed axe murderer from Emperor and the mighty Zyklon. Pretty much anything he’s done with the major projects listed above is high on our best ever list, especially the work on “World ov Worms” with Zyklon as it served as a great launching pad towards separating himself from the black metal genius of Emperor. So when The Wretched End became a project, teaming with Cosmo from the SCUM project, we had a feeling it would be something good.
Three albums into it, The Wretched End is still serving as a quality creative outlet for Samoth, even if it has taken a bit to get the latest album, In These Woods From These Mountains, released. But all good things come to those who wait. In the 4 years since their last, TWE have taken their sweet ass time constructing an album that unlike their previous two, tap into the Nordic Black Metal influence unheard of from Samoth since his Emperor days. Sure, Zyklon and The Wretched End have shown a bit of that traditional ‘burnin’ down the church’ black as fuck flair, but from the first few minutes of the outstanding “Dead Icons” you’re submerged back into a familiar sound which will not only surprise the listener (unless they read this, then the surprise is now ruined I suppose) but fill your heart with that warm & cuddly fury from the days of old, when you’d put on “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” and freak the fuck out at it’s breakneck speed and evil symphonic sorcery. And this album has a metric fuck ton of this. Where Inroads and Ominous were death and thrash as possible, In These Woods From These Mountains is Samoth and Cosmo rolling with what felt best during the process and it comes across not as a “well too many fanboys wanted a new old Emperor sounding record so here you go” compromise, but a legit down-to-their-core beast of an album with Samoth ruling the 6 strings with the style that has brought him fame: fast, furious, evil black metal chord progressions with a dash of thrash and oven baked at 666 degrees.
And while we should wish to take this album on our next hiking adventure (it’s got a name that at first makes you think it’s an adventure novel for mountain climbers…but we get what it really is talking about) it would just scare the shit out of us in a darkened woodland area. In These Woods From These Mountains is an avalanche of all things Samoth, and should not be ignored as a vital release in 2016 from one of metal’s best guitarist and songwriters.