Hailing from Kitee, Finland is the black metal band known as Darkwoods My Betrothed. In 1993, they were originally set out to be the most blasphemous black metal band throughout Europe. When the band’s founding members Tuomo Holopainen, Teemu “Hexenmeister” Kautonen, Jouni “Hallgrim” Mikkonen, and Pasi “Emperor Nattaset” Kankkunen decided to take themselves more seriously, they changed the name to Darkwoods My Betrothed. As soon as Darkwoods My Betrothed began to take themselves and their music more seriously, they recorded the demo (Dark Aureolis Gathering) in 1994. It wasn’t much different from the band’s extreme black metal roots as their traditional black metal shrieks were topped with a wail-style scream. When the band released their first full-length album (Heirs of the Northstar) in 1995, via Hammerheart Productions. It proved to be the turning point for the band as they since began to experiment with Viking metal, which is more melodic and slower-paced. Both critics and fans of Darkwoods My Betrothed observed the shift of the band’s attitude away from Satanic rantings towards Odinism and Viking mythology. They still, however, showed hostility towards Christianity.
Their 1996 album (Autumn Roars Thunder) retained their anti-Christian, pro-Odinism rhetoric, but moved away from the melodic Viking metal as they leaned back into the faster tempo of black metal. After this, the band’s third album (Witch Hunts) was released in 1998 as pure hardcore metal. There were many delays that caused this album to be released a year after it was originally scheduled. After its release, Darkwoods My Betrothed broke up. In 2000, they joined back together with a new line-up and a compilation album. It was their intention to tour but broke up again in 2001. 19 years later, Teemu Kautonen announced in December 2020 that the band is active and is expected to release their latest album (Angel of Carnage Unleashed) on November 12, 2021. The first single from that album (In Evil, Sickness and Grief) was released on August 30, 2021. According to Metal Rules, it is the best work ever produced by Darkwoods My Betrothed and expects it to be a fan favorite.
10. Part III: Witch Hunters
(Witch Hunters) comes in as the final piece of a three-song story (The Witch Hunts Trilogy). Coming from the album (The Witch Hunts), 1998 is a year Darkwoods My Betrothed displays their anger against Christianity, along with the witch hunts they engaged in. While this storytelling approach of theirs puts a bad taste in the mouth of mainstream music fans, the same is not said for black metal fans, especially within their homeland of Finland.
9. Part II: Burn, Witches, Burn
(Burn, Witches, Burn) is part two of the song (The Witch-Hunts Trilogy), coming after part one’s (The Preacher Came To Town). This comes from their 1998 album (The Witch Hunts). Followers of Darkwoods My Betrothed not only find this part of their three-song piece as a favorite song but as their favorite part of the story as well.
8. Hymn of the Darkwoods
This song (Hymn of the Darkwoods) comes from their 1996 album (Autumn Roars Thunder) and is regarded by their fans as a favorite. For a band that receives as little recognition as they do, they still manage to win over metal music fans at a worldwide level, even if they currently seem few in number.
7. Inside the Circle of Stones
Coming from their 1996 album (Autumn Roars Thunder) is the single (Inside the Circle of Stones). To this day, many of their fans complain this band does not receive enough recognition for their musical talent. For them, this song showcases the band known as Darkwoods My Betrothed deserves to at least earn more European air-play and tour dates so that the rest of the world can have a better taste of who they are, as well as what they can do.
6. Red Sky Over the Land of Fells
The year is 1996 and from the band’s album (Autumn Rolls Thunder) is its final track (Red Sky Over the Land of Fells). Among their Finnish metal music fans, a growing appreciation towards their style of music helps encourage Darkwoods My Betrothed to continue producing material within the metal music scene. This song may have served as the final piece to its album, but it also served as a sign of things still to come from this promising metal band.
5. Without Ceremony and Bell Toll
This song (Without Ceremony and Bell Toll) is the first track to come off the band’s 1998 album (Witch Hunts). Among their fans, they find this serves as the album’s flagship single. According to Metal Kingdom’s, coverage of Darkwoods My Betrothed’s music, this album has received the most votes as a favorite. The overall agreement among the band’s fans is the title track deserves most of the credit for what they agree is among their best.
4. Autumn Roars Thunder
At over eleven minutes long, Darwkoods My Betrothed’s second full album (Autumn Roars Thunder) features its cover song of the same name. Among their fans, they consider it a cult classic. And, among various metal sites and magazines, they take note of how the band’s experimental trek into Viking metal has paid off for them. This song (as well as the whole album) earned the band fans that otherwise never paid any attention to them.
3. Yggdrasil’s Children Fall
Playing for just over sixteen minutes is the band’s longest song (Yggdrasil’s Children Fall) they’ve ever recorded so far. Coming from their 1995 album (Heirs of the Northstar), it is consistently ranked as a favorite among many of their fans.
2. The Crow and the Warrior (with Nightwish)
This 1998 song (The Crow and the Warrior) was performed by Tuomas Rytkonen with Nightwish (https://www.nightwish.com/). It was included with Darkwoods My Betrothed’s 1998 album (Witch Hunts) as a promo track instead of a cover. While there is influence from both metal bands in the song, regardless of whom the fans feel deserves full credit for it, it still ranks as part of Darkwoods My Betrothed’s discography roster. And, it is among the best from their metal music portfolio.
1. In Evil, Sickness and Grief
Despite this song just being released, it has already earned a top spot among metal music critics and fans as the best to ever come from Darkwoods My Betrothed. It seems their 19-year hiatus from the music scene did the entire band roster some good as the most common word on the street is how much they’ve matured since they first started back in 1993.