THE TRUE WERWOLF is a study in true patience and perseverance. The band was begun in 2002 as a solo endeavor by extremely prolific black metal scene legend Graf Werwolf, largely known for SATANIC WARMASTER and as the original vocalist of Horna. Work on THE TRUE WERWOLF was undertaken in secrecy, and scarce demos and EPs would trickle out in the underground, sometimes posthumously. Each step of the way, however, a commitment to raw ‘n’ rotten black metal was firm and unyielding, brewed in the ancient ways of the early ’90s. And although comparisons to SATANIC WARMASTER are understandable and locatable, THE TRUE WERWOLF largely resides in a different headspace for mainman Werwolf, where medieval witchcraft, vampirism, and mysticism run riot, and the sound suitably existed on an axis of hideousness.
That is, until now, with the sleek ‘n’ sumptuous Devil Crisis. In the works for over six years, Devil Crisis is the grand culmination of every residual aesthetic strain in THE TRUE WERWOLF canon hereby taken their most professional and finessed ends. Informed by lyrical themes that are extremely emotional and erotic – and, in the case of “0373,” even cosmic – Devil Crisis boldly displays a pronounced sense of refinement that doesn’t sacrifice or stultify an ounce of Werwolf’s icy yet burning-hot passion; if anything, this refinement begins a new era for THE TRUE WERWOLF. Necromantical black metal art at its heart, this tour de force of madness & majesty explodes with an almost overwhelming sense of clarity, stargazing and screaming for vengeance, but within lurks heretofore-revealed elements – foremost among them, classic video game music – that only serve to make THE TRUE WERWOLF a more unique and idiosyncratic entity. Likewise, the subtle-but-unabashed usage of keyboards here lends a most bewitching and magickal sound, wholly transporting the listener to forgotten realms and further underlining Werwolf’s roots in the glare of burning churches.
Put another way, if SATANIC WARMASTER is like Black Sabbath, then THE TRUE WERWOLF is like Ozzy solo. If you’re prepared to bark at the moon, prepare for the blizzard of Devil Crisis!
Werewolf Records (Finland), 2020.