Finnish Folk Metal wizards Wolfhorde have given us one of the greatest finds so far for 2016 with 'Towards the Gate of North'. With a mixture of LOTR, Pagan, Folk and Black Metal, this album is one of the most eclectic and fascinating finds since my first exposure to Xanthochroid. The musical landscape is expansive and massive enough to hear a different instrument or progression every time you listen to it. Iíve listened to this album five times already and have heard something that I missed on my previous listens each time through. Musically this reminds me of the best parts of the LOTR soundtrack with traditional Scandinavian instruments added for additional atomsphere. The vocals are some of the most expressive and emotive that Iíve heard in a good while with singer Hukkapatka delivering melancholic, joyful, pissed off and pained vocals to really lend to the feeling of the songs while doubling on drums! Multi-instrumentalist Werihukka shines on the guitar but also on the myriad of other instruments he touches. Bassist Nuoskajalka, not to be outdone, delivers some really impressive work, keeping up with the frantic yet structured soundscapes the band follows. This is one of the few albums where Iím struggling to find the words to describe just how incredible and moving these songs are. This album is what metal is all about to me. You feel the lyrics and the music deep inside your soul and if you close your eyes, you are transported to Europe in the time of the Vikings and are there charging your way through invasions and high sea adventures, fighting your way to Ragnarok and the ultimate honor of reaching Valhalla. I could go on and on but itís best for you to experience it for yourself. This one is definitely best enjoyed through headphones or a really solid sound system. Hands down the most fascinating, enchanting and absorbing release Iíve heard in the last two years.