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Stream: Ered Wethrin’s “Into the Stars”

Ered Wethrin‘s Tides of War is another great release for Northern Silence Productions, the German label that keeps on giving. (Check the new Woods of Desolation song we streamed a few days ago if you haven’t yet, and keep an eye out for the forthcoming Nasheim album and others due on February 14 of next year.) Ered Wethrin’s a new one-man band, Tides of War is their first release, and the band hails (the only verb of origin appropriate here) from Salt Lake City, now the unlikely home to three of Northern Silence’s best acts, the other two being the folk black metal virtuoso Gallowbraid and the epic black metal (two man) horde Caladan Brood.

Ered Wethrin plays epic black metal, too, and I can’t be the only one a bit curious about three excellent, somewhat stylistically similar black metal bands on the same label hailing from Salt Lake City. In some ways, Ered Wethren brings to mind a more organic-sounding Caladan Brood. There’s this, too: Ered Wethrin is named for a mountain range in Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Caladan Brood is named for a warlord in Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen novels, and Gallowbraid shares a name with a Magic: The Gathering character. Ered Wethrin’s album is named Tides of War, while Caladan Brood’s album is named Echoes of Battle. Anyway, just saying.

“Into the Stars” is the first track available from Tides of War, and it does a good job of showing off Ered Wethrin’s knack for crafting huge and epic symphonic black metal. As one IO colleague put it, listening to “Into the Stars” “made me feel like I just beat a video game.” The tapped intro sure does feel like leveling-up, and the rest of the nearly 12-minute song is as triumphant as can be, a post-battle celebratory ride on a winged animal to Riff Mountain. “Into the Stars” is catchy as hell, too, very hummable; its recurring group chorus bit swells more than sings, a heave-ho destined for victory. Etch it in stone: “Into the Stars” rules. Give it a listen below.

Ered Wethrin’s Tides of War is out on February 14 on Northern Silence Productions, pressed to CD and limited to 900 copies.

— Wyatt Marshall

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