Releasing an album in late October doesn't leave much time for scribes such as myself to digest it before the baying for year end lists begins. Luckily, The Obsidian Plains (Profound Lore) from Minnesota's Wolvhammer didn't take long to make an impression. Wolvhammer blends the cold and bleak aura of black metal with an almost catchy death'n'roll rumble. I can hear some of what may be a sludge influence as well but I can't call it anything but Black Metal. Especially considering the vibe that the demon-from-hell-come-to-kill-you-all screams of vocalist Adam Clemans. Given the black metal blasts and the infectious riffing I'm not surprised I love this album as much as I do. What does surprise me however, is the fact that it features former members of Nachtmystium and Across Tundras. (Jeff Wilson and Heath Rave, respectively) Both bands that I have never really enjoyed. Maybe that's why the are FORMER members. They wanted to make better music. Well, mission accomplished. The Obsidian Plains is the sort of blazing awesomeness you need to get you through a cold Minnesotan (or in my case, Canadian) winter. Bring on the bleak.