After 23 years of silence, Finnish cult black metallers and pioneers of the scene DARKWOODS MY BETROTHED are making their long-awaited comeback with a new full-length album, Angel of Carnage Unleashed, to be unveiled on November 12, 2021 via Napalm Records.
The album sets free a unique blend of brutal, fast-driven black metal and epic anthems, in which eerie screams merge with heroic clean vocals, monumental choirs and majestic keyboards along with gory stories of famine, war, plague and the inescapable brutality of Finland’s nature in the era of the Great Northern War (1700-1721). It features the old horde from the original 1993 line-up, now augmented by Tuomas Holopainen as a full member of the band and Kai Hahto (both Nightwish) as session drummer.
Guitarist Jouni Mikkonen on Tuomas Holopainen now being a full member of the band:
“‘Tuomas was featured as a session keyboardist on all previous albums. This time he was fully on board from the moment we decided to make this album and hence it was natural for him to become a full band member. He also made a substantial contribution to the creative process.”
The new full-length contains eight songs written by the three musicians who founded the band in 1993: Pasi Kankkunen, Jouni Mikkonen and Teemu Kautonen (with substantial creative inputs from the fourth member Tuomas Holopainen). The lyrics are based on the human history of the Great Northern War of 1700-1721: how Finns experienced the many manifestations of the Angel of Carnage, sent by God to punish them for their sins.
Bassist Teemu Kautonen on the album:
“The lyrics are based on the work of the renowned Finnish historian Teemu Keskisarja. His research inspired us both to carefully embed all lyrics in the appropriate historical context and to bring forth the human dimension by focusing on stories of individual people and how they experienced this perhaps darkest period of Finnish history.”
Vocalist/guitarist Pasi Kankkunen adds:
“’It was very important for us to have the original line-up on the comeback album. We also agreed right at the beginning of the process to share the songwriting in equal proportions just as we did on the 1996 classic album, Autumn Roars Thunder.”
The album opener “Name the Dead” sets off with atmospheric organ tunes but leaves no scope for weakness, as only a few seconds later storming drums, aggressive riffs and raging growls set the stage for everything that is about to come: brutal soundscapes spliced with epic accents! The second track, “In Evil, Sickness and in Grief”, pierces through the core with a poisoning vocal attack and contrasting operatic female background layers. “Murktide and Midnight Sun” marks folk and Viking reminiscence with its clean and catchy vocal presentation, grand choirs and mystic atmosphere, followed by the heavily stomping “You Bitter Source of Sorrow” and “Where We Dwell” with its haunting, all-consuming keyboard passages. “In Thrall to Ironskull’s Heart” showcases the multifaceted character of DARKWOODS MY BETROTHED with an almost balladic start, which evolves into an uptempo, epic journey into the Battle of Napue (1714). The title of the penultimate track “Massacre” conveys the track’s musical direction with precision: expect in-your-face blastbeats and gory lyrics. The final song “Black Fog and Poison Wind” unleashes a sonic monster once more, combining aggression, haunting soundscapes and evil melodies, before Angel of Carnage Unleashed ends with the tunes of a soundtrack-like outro.
Angel of Carnage Unleashed track listing:
- 1. Name the Dead
- 2. In Evil, Sickness and in Grief
- 3. Murktide and Midnight Sun
- 4. You Bitter Source of Sorrow
- 5. Where We Dwell
- 6. In Thrall to Ironskull’s Heart
- 7. Massacre
- 8. Black Fog and Poison Wind
- 9. Outro
DARKWOODS MY BETROTHED are:
- Pasi Kankkunen – vocals, guitar
- Jouni Mikkonen – guitar
- Teemu Kautonen – bass, backing vocals
- Tuomas Holopainen – keyboards
- Kai Hahto – drums (session)
DARKWOODS MY BETROTHED links:
Watch/Listen to Official Music Video and Massive New Single”In Evil, Sickness and in Grief”, HERE!