Wolfhorde is a band from Keuruu, Finland, founded somewhere in 2000. If I understand the biography correctly, by the time the band began, they didn't really know that there was such a thing as folk metal. They just played traditional folk before one of the members started writing metal compositions. Gradually however, the band became a respected value in the scene, with good reason too.
After a short, traditional intro, 'Fimbulvetr' comes up with the uptempo drums, the distorted riffs and the folky melodies. In that aspect, Wolfhorde can easily be placed on any shelve where Korpiklaani, Ensiferum, Finntroll and company are present. What sets Wolfhorde apart, are the vocals. While most bands nudge towards blackened screams, Wolfhorde mostly comes up with deep growls, showing a death metal background and reminding me a bit of Crematory.
Of course, it wouldn't be folk metal without clean chants and acoustic elements too, and, in my humble opinion, that's where Wolfhorde's power lies. It's these passages that truly convince me, even more than the speedy metal parts. Here, the band shows where they come from. They show that Viking folk is in their veins and in their heritage. They also make it sound so easy, which must be frustrating for bands that try so hard to copy the style.
My favorite track is 'Death Long-Due', a midtempo folkrocker that feels festive and harsh at the same time. Of course, this wouldn't be folk metal without regular changes in tempo and instrumentation. 'Lycomania', probably the most typical folk metal track, is my second favorite. It drives on fierce thrash metal riffage and a speedy tempo. No doubt that this track will generate moshpits wherever it's played.
In all, I think every folk metal fan should check this out. Wolfhorde fits perfectly in that genre but managed to maintain their own sound. With 'Towards The Gates Of North' is a very strong album that should get some heads banging in their direction. These Fins certainly deserve it. Keep your eyes open for these guys because they will be conquering festival stages allover Europe in the sweet summer of 2016...