Sometimes we just need to get away from modernity and allow ourselves to be immersed in nature. Paleowolf is the best at doing this. Think Wardruna but go back further, keep going, a little further, and there you go. Back to when humanity was the humanity we know and love/hate today. Look back to the time when culture wasn’t everyone’s main concern, when life was celebrated not as a right but as a true achievement. Paleowolf is my go to artist when I need to just get away from the complexities and banalities of human life. When I feel like I need to reconnect with nature, when I just need a time away from people, I go to Paleowolf. The artist behind Paleowolf is the same man behind Gaetir, the Mountainkeeper and Metatron Omega, just by stating that I feel like you should already be listening to Paleowolf. The work that he is able to accomplish across a wide array sound is incredible. But rather than gush over everything, let’s focus on Paleowolf’s newest album “Genesis” available now through the ever present Cryo Chamber.
Genesis is my second Paleowolf album in the last few months. Having cut my teeth on Primordial, there was a lot I was expecting from Genesis. I wanted to hear a lot of the same but with a colder, more desperate atmosphere. I wanted something primitive but provocative. I wanted to feel the blood of the kill on my hands as I listened to the music. Did I get what I wanted?
Without a doubt! Genesis is the natural maturation of a project. Where some of the edges were unrefined and lopsided in Primordial, Genesis has come in and sharpened everything, evened out the sound and perfected the craft.
In Genesis I felt like Paleowolf was putting the listener directly in all the action, instead of just telling the listener, we are being shown things. We are experiencing the emotions of these people first hand. We can feel the blood pumping in our ears as the rituals begin, as the blood pours down the altar of sacrifice. We can feel the exhilaration of the hunt, the anticipation of the kill. Paleowolf’s production and dedication to the primitive sounds we often ignore makes this album an absolute delight.
I didn’t want to use the word primitive when I started writing this review because it has a bad connotation to it. But as I continued, I felt like the word primitive fit. The field recordings and subsequent distortions mixed with chant like vocals were simple yet profound. There is nothing wrong with a primitive sound, it feels closer to reality than something overproduced and mechanical. Paleowolf knows how to play with human emotions, giving the listeners just enough to understand what is going on but not so much that the listener focuses more on the emotions than on the sounds.
Sound is very important here. While that sounds borderline stupid to say in a music review hear me out. The field recordings aren’t just the winds and the animals howling. It’s the crunch of the leaves, the whisper of the wind, the subtle trickle of water. Each of these are suggestive, they don’t force themselves on the listener or draw attention to them. The trappings of society are ripped away and replaced with a simple live or die imperative. Nature is supreme here, humanity lives and dies at her decree. She demands our worship and our being.
Paleowolf has crafted another masterpiece. From the beginning to the end of the album, I was transported away from the modern world. I was able to walk in a landscape that was simpler, if much harsher. The album is exactly what we need. It’s an escapist album, and that’s a good thing. We need to be able to escape from the mundane lives we live every now and then, we need to feel something different. We need to feel the blood in our veins again. Paleowolf has never disappointed me, each time I listen to this album, I believe that Paleowolf has used a time machine to bring something back. Genesis is one of those albums that comes along rarely but when you see it you have to grab it and never let it go.
Listen and support!