Tarnkappe‘s Winterwaker (“Guardian of Winter” in English) is another Dutch black metal album aiming to extend the victories of the old forward into a modern world deluged with genericized and masqueraded jingle rock. Most modern black metal recordings consist of typical verse chorus verse hardcore punk songs with occasional tremolo-picked, hopefully minor key riffs and raspy vocals to differentiated it from the punks with their spiky hair and Sharpie-drawn straight edge Xs in the same way that modern opposing political parties mostly present two sides of the same leftist coin merely aiming the public towards financially catering to differing oligarchic leagues. Tarnkappe, a duo composed of members of Kaeck and Kjeld, aim to bury the bodies of the mainstream-media promoted black ‘n’ roll and “war metal” themed crossover thrash groups in an unmarked, shallow mass grave in the forest-tundra.
The compositions resemble a more cohesive version of early Gorgoroth with individual melodies intertwined narratively together. Rather than throwing in a smorgasbord of pointless heavy metal rhythms and Hellhammerisms, Tarnkappe riff almost exclusively in long-form melodic phrases of tremolo-picked notes. Their songs are mostly constructed by alternating between two carefully chosen but contrasting riffs, building tension with an almost call and response (think Master’s Hammer‘s Ritual), each riff slowly variating into the next. The properly metronomic martial percussion of blast and pickup beats flows and fills with the riffs’ narratives until the inflated tension is relieved by the guitars suddenly charging forward to an end with a triumphal novelty in the same rhythm, concluding the melodic narrative in a similar climactic method as Massacra utilized on Final Holocaust.
Tarnkappe are a sword rising from the water to set the world to right through bloodshed. Tarnkappe violently trample and mangle drunk punks into sanguine skid marks across low lands caught by an inextinguishable fire. Creating order from chaos, Winterwaker is fueled by potent but disparate powers of the past united into cycles of creational destruction culminating in resplendent conquest.