When I first discovered Tarnkappe in 2014, their album Tussen Hun En De Zon did leave a lot to be desired, with nothing about the release standing out. Two years later, the band is back with their next offering Winterwaker and whilst it still may not be the most memorable of listens, it is a step in the right direction and does feel like an improvement on the last album.
Unfortunately, Winterwaker is just not all that exciting. Songs blend together, there’s a lack of direction as a whole and the vocal delivery just feels tired and uninspired. It’s not inherently bad, but on the other hand nothing really stands out, so it’s more of an average release rather than anything else. It’s listenable, and won’t make you want to switch it off, but it does need to do more in order to make a sizeable impression – and it still feels like Tarnkappe can do better.
Winterwaker is an album that you might listen to and enjoy, before ultimately forgetting about it and not bother revisiting the piece. It’s just bog-standard black metal with no whistles or bells, and whilst it does have a bit more energy and power than their last album, Tarnkappe haven’t quite created something that is unique to themselves.