Despite only forming a couple of years ago, UK doomists Wolves In Winter present as a fully-formed, fully realised and pretty special unit on the debut full-length The Calling Quiet; they’ve got the sound – an alluring mixture of doom and bottom-heavy trad metal – down pat, they’ve got the atmospherics going on in spades, and, most importantly, on the evidence of epic tracks like album closer and semi-title track Calling The Quiet, they’ve got the songs. A bright future would appear to be on the cards, if ‘bright futures’ are indeed a thing in the world of doom metal…

Everything about this album feels ‘right’… From the opening moments of steamroller opener Cord That Ends The Pain, the band slip into a groove that’s comfortable and familiar to the trained ear; and whilst words like ‘comfortable’ and ‘familiar’ aren’t always good areas for a band to find themselves in, when done properly – as here – they form a solid bedrock on which a band with the right talents can flourish. Wolves In Winter take the traditional tenets of heavy metal and mould them in their own, misanthropic yet strangely uplifting image, aided by a superb recording job from Conan‘s Chris Fielding that allows each instrument the space to create individually whilst complementing everything else that’s going on around it.

Perhaps the best evidence of this is the superb Pastime For Helots, as fine an exemplar of heavy metal dynamics as you’re likely to hear anywhere this year. Fusing elements from throughout metal’s august history, it shows a band that has complete mastery of it’s art as the band hammer their way into your consciousness over the course of six and a half glorious minutes.

Star of the show is possibly vocalist Jake, though this is clearly a team effort; Blessed with a powerful, clean voice he provides the focal point around which the guitars of Wayne and former Slammer alumnus Enzo coalesce, with bassist Izak‘s wonderful low end bubbling away underneath in accompaniment to the tectonic movements created by drummer Adam. Again, it’s a familiar template, but one which the band use with such skill the listener is never left feeling short changed or in the presence of mere tribute merchants. This is indubitably the real deal.

The Calling Quiet releases on February 24th.