In the five years since their self-titled debut, blackened metallers Wode have established a more than credible reputation, with many eyes turning, Sauron-like, on their next move in the wake of their signing with the reliable folks at 20 Buck Spin for their third offering, Burn In Many Mirrors; an endorsement that could set them up to stride to the next levels of the underground hierarchy.
Imbued with the spirit of Motörhead and Venom, and worshipping at the Gods (well, more likely the daemons) of the 90’s melodic-tinged underground explosion, with the vocals reminding of an unbalanced bastard breed of Vorphalack and Taneli Jarva, Wode achieve an interesting concoction that manages to be eminently listenable without being too refined. Hewn, rather than polished and shined, sturdy and not straying from the left-hand path, Wode presents the rough around the edges in what is the well-established way of bands from the dark side of the cloth.
That isn’t to say there isn’t diversity within the confines of the Wode camp either. ‘Fire In The Hills’ is aptly titled, bringing forth a flickering autumnal bonfire crawl, while ‘Sulphuric Glow’ erupts in a maelstrom of blackened scything rage that unveils more than a nod to Sabbat (UK) as it hurtles towards a conclusion. At their best, they let themselves go and embrace their more traditional, storming Heavy Metal side, such as in moments of the opener, or throughout the rampant ‘Serpent’s Coil’. At these moments, Wode are an excellent blackened Metal band and in those places, Burn In Many Mirrors threatens to raze an inferno, even if things never fully catch ablaze.
While Burn In Many Mirrors is accessible, it does, the odd guitar stomp or surging section aside, want for a hook or three – taking cues from last years romp from Midnight would serve them well – and, for all the intent and early zest, Wode need to work on their album cardio, as proceedings tail off somewhat during the latter third.
Considering how good some of the glimmers and flashes are, and what Wode has more than hinted they could be, this does leave a somewhat frustrated tinge to the ashes in the mouth. Still, there is plenty on offer to appease even the most discerning, and this is another sterling addition to the canon that won’t stunt their progression or harm their burgeoning reputation at all.
Buy the album here: https://www.20buckspin.com
7 / 10