For many people, Runespell‘s debut full-length Unhallowed Blood Oath proved to be one of the more pleasant surprises of 2017. Anyone who’d been paying attention to Australia’s burgeoning black metal scene, however, likely already knew it was going to be one of the highlights of the year. Nightwolf, the lone figure behind Runespell, is easily one of the most prolific musicians in all of OZBM thanks to his work with Eternum (which also features the equally busy Azghor of Drowning the Light/Forgotten Kingdom) and Blood Stronghold (alongside the even more insanely prolific Polish drummer Krew, currently of something like twenty other bands). With Unhallowed Blood Oath, though, Nightwolf started getting the sort of attention he’s long deserved from the international black metal community.
Less than ten months after the release of Unhallowed Blood Oath, Nightwolf is already back with Runespell’s second full-length Order of Vengeance, which rocketed to near the top of my ‘most anticipated albums of 2018’ list the second it was announced. It doesn’t disappoint, either. Darker overall than its predecessor both in terms of tone and production, it sees Nightwolf move slightly away from the Norwegian second wave sound of Runespell’s debut in favor of something more akin to Viking-period Bathory. Instead of feeling windswept and icy, the seven tracks on Order of Vengeance seem more like victory marches after hard-fought battles, triumphant and exhausted in almost equal amounts. It’s still sounds epic as fvck, but the added variety in the songwriting makes for a much more diverse listening experience this time around.
Order of Vengeance will be available on July 6 from Iron Bonehead Productions, but we are thrilled to be streaming the album in its entirety here today at the Vault. Beyond that, I don’t think I need to say anything else here in order to hype it up. Just hit play, and before long you’ll come to the same conclusion I did – Order of Vengeance is fucking brilliant.