By now, RUNESPELL should require little introduction. Since this Australian entity’s public unveiling in 2017 with the Aeons of Ancient Blood demo – released by IRON BONEHEAD, as well as all successive recordings – RUNESPELL has sharpened its sword and quickly, with three albums arriving like clockwork every year: Unhallowed Blood Oath (2017), Order of Vengeance (2018), and Voice of Opprobrium (2019). Although 2020 didn’t see the release of a full-length, a split album with the reanimated Forest Mysticism tided over the bloodthirsty until the arrival of fourth LP Verses in Regicide in 2021, arguably RUNESPELL’s best-produced and -executed album to date.
This is all not to suggest that mainman Nightwolf is hasty or careless with his creations; rather, the RUNESPELL aesthetic is so etched in iron, so forged in blood, that this mystical & mesmerizing soundworld takes on its own life. And so it goes with the brand-new mini-album Sentinels of Time. Serving as something of a companion to the monolithic ‘n’ majestic Verses in Regicide, Sentinels of Time is every inch as epic and engrossing as its predecessor. Two of the mini’s tracks easily top 10 minutes, with another just over eight minutes; and while those luxurious-yet-portentous waves of blood/fire/death undulate and crash with the same RUNESPELL’d intensity and immensity, one could argue that Verses in Regicide sees Nightwolf in a slightly more solemn mood. But, all the same, the steel is sharper than ever and wielded like that of a master, reaching a crescendo of battlefury with that aforementioned eight-minute title track, at last concluding with eerily beautiful instrumental lament “A Drakkar’s Last Journey.”
No other words needed: RUNESPELL continue their campaign of grim grandeur with Sentinels of Time!
Iron Bonehead (Germany), 2020.