Finnish cult favorites Darkwoods My Betrothed are back with Angel of Carnage Unleashed, their first album in 23 years and fourth overall, this time with Nightwish keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen as a full-fledged member for the first time after having contributed to their three previous records as a session musician.

On this forthcoming album, due Nov. 12 on Napalm Records, the band also recruited Nightwish drummer Kai Hahto, albeit as a session member, while the remainder of the band's original lineup — Pasi Kankkunen (vocals, guitar), Jouni Mikkonen (guitar) and Teemu Kautonen (bass, backing vocals) — all returned last year when Darkwoods My Betrothed announced their reunion.

On Holopainen's status as a full-time member, Mikkonen commented, "Tuomas was featured as a session keyboardist on all previous albums. This time he was fully on board from the moment we decided to make this album and hence it was natural for him to become a full band member. He also made a substantial contribution to the creative process."

"'In Evil, Sickness and in Grief' is our first new release since 1998. For the comeback after 23 years of silence, we chose a song that showcases everything that the band is about — murderous blast beats, catchy riffs spiced with haunting melodies, vicious screams contrasted by clean vocals and choirs, majestic keyboards and eerily beautiful female vocals layers," began the band in a press statement.

"These ingredients provide the musical canvas for a lyric that features a dialogue between a peasant soldier forcibly drafted to the Swedish army and the Slaughter’s Holy Angel of War, who demands such horrific deeds from the soldier that he ends up with a shredded soul," Darkwoods my Betrothed continued, alluding to the album's theme rooted in The Great Northern War, which took place between 1700 and 1721.

"The lyrics are based on the work of the renowned Finnish historian Teemu Keskisarja. His research inspired us both to carefully embed all lyrics in the appropriate historical context and to bring forth the human dimension by focusing on stories of individual people and how they experienced this perhaps darkest period of Finnish history," commented Kautonen.

Vocalist Kankkunen added, "It was very important for us to have the original lineup on the comeback album. We also agreed right at the beginning of the process to share the songwriting in equal proportions – just as we did on the 1996 classic album, Autumn Roars Thunder."

Listen to "In Evil, Sickness and Grief" below and view the artwork and track listing for Angel of Carnage Unleashed further down the page. To pre-order the album, head here.

Darkwoods My Betrothed, "In Evil, Sickness and Grief"

Darkwoods My Betrothed, Angel of Carnage Unleashed Album Art + Track Listing

Darkwoods My Betrothed, 'Angel of Carnage Unleashed'
Napalm Records

1. "Name the Dead"
2. "In Evil, Sickness and in Grief"
3. "Murktide and Midnight Sun"
4. "You Bitter Source of Sorrow"
5. "Where We Dwell"
6. "In Thrall to Ironskull’s Heart"
7. "Massacre"
8. "Black Fog and Poison Wind"
9. "Outro"

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