Wolfchant – Omega : Bestia Review

I love when the genre is accidentally and maliciously mislabeled by an album’s promo package. It always leads to delightfully gruesome surprises and oh so satisfying pleas and groveling by shocked and dismayed reviewers once the true nature of the promo revels itself.1 It’s especially amusing since the sadistic AMG management rarely lets reviewers back out once a promo is drawn from the murk and claimed. Karma is a bitch though, and what goes around comes around, and this time it was your friendly neighborhood Steel who got hoisted by his own petard ov judgment when selecting Wolfchant. The promo language speaks of pagan and folk metal and alludes to epic vistas. I signed up hoping for a Moonsorrow-esque voyage into grand adventure, but the yoke’s on me. It seems Wolfchant have been around a long time yet stayed completely under my radar, and what they deliver on seventh album Omega : Bestia is not pagan or folk at all but rather an ostentatious mix of melodic melodeath, power and traditional metal with more bombast than any two Sabaton albums. I suppose there are worse icebergs to plow into while blindly navigating the turgid waters of the AMG promo sump.

After a moody intro that all but promises epic pagan metal colder than Siberian, the listener gets launched full speed into the hyperactive, cheese-filled and hilarious metal stew that is “Komet.” Opening with a riff that could set sail with the Running Wild pirate crew, things ramp up into a thrashy variant of blackened melodeath with harsh vocals paired with dramatic cleans by none other than Rebellion‘s Michael Seifert. The song is a crazed mush of thrash, melodeath and traditional metal and it’s both awful and weirdly entertaining. The guitars could sit comfortably on an Arch Enemy album and the hooks are real when the giant chorus hits. You’ll end up liking it and wishing you didn’t. This kind of unfair abuse continues on “Into Eternal Darkness” which is like Nightwish and Kalmah having a drunken, corset-tearing brawl on a sinking cruise ship. You can’t look away but feel dirty enjoying what you’re experiencing. It’s so damn goofy but the good timey charm is infectious.

Wolfchant‘s zany antics work on cuts like “Im Zeichen des Tiers” which is like vintage Rebellion mixed with Children of Bodom, and “Jäger der Nacht,” which translates loosely into Jägermeister all night and reminds me of old Crematory mixed with Norther. Here the tension between aggressive melodeath and the beer stein swinging ale hall vibe of the chorus is awkward, but it will make you long to wave an overfull mug around recklessly, sloshing the multiverse with foamy goodness. Not every track hits the novelty button as effectively though, as lesser cuts like “Out of the Dark” end up stumbling into comedy with a chorus Powerwolf might shy away from due to excessive cheddar infestation. I’ve caught myself singing it though, and Madam X almost always activates the shock collar, and rightly so. In a nutshell, this is mixed bag of nuts and some have too much cheese attached.

As an admirer of Rebellion since their gloriously shlocky attempt to metalize Macbeth on 2002s Shakespeare’s Macbeth: A Tragedy in Steel2, the presence of Mr. Seifert elevates my appreciation for the mangy mixture of styles Wolfchant attempts. That said, his vocals sometimes veer from metal as fook to silly as hell, getting way too faux-operatic, which is definitely not his wheelhouse. When he sticks to his gravelly rasp as he does on “Komet,” it works well and pairs nicely with the snarls and croaks of Lokhi (probably not his real name). The guitar-work by Mario Liebl and Josef “Sebbi” Altmann is often catchy and ear-grabbing and they nail the kind of hyperkinetic style used to Kalmah and Children of Bodom, while also venturing into traditional and power metal tropes. This is a talented group and their biggest issue is keeping the material on the right side of the too much/too silly line.

I’ve had worse experiences than being stuck in the den for a few days stuck with Wolfchant. This is pretty ridiculous shit but damn if some of it doesn’t hit the spot. Omega : Bestia may be nonessential, but if you want over-the-top, Powerwolf-y melodeath, this may be the pack to run with. Some glee, fleas, no trade backsies!

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Reaper Entertainment
Website: facebook.com/wolfchantofficial
Releases Worldwide: April 9th, 2021

Show 2 footnotes

  1. See yesterday’s Alexander review for the most recent example.
  2. They subsequently did the same with King Lear in 2018.
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