Wolf Blood- Wolf Blood

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The idea that metal has lost it’s roots is nothing new. I’m sure you’ve heard it too. The complaints that metal has become way too polished and stylized these days. A sound which no layer of grit on your latest vinyl can compete with. I understand why bands do it too, but if these people would just quit their whining, they’ll realize there are plenty of talented bands out there that strive for the same dirty ascetic of their predecessors, who just happened to have limiting recording options. Take the first release from psych doom stoners, Wolf Blood fromBurning World/Roadburn Records for instance.

 

Recorded at Sacred Heart by Jake Larson in Duluth MN, the band seems to be making waves in a cross section of scene, calling on the interest of outsiders from other niches. Result of hipster culture holding Wolf Blood in their filthy grasp? In this case, I say let them have it and hop on the Wolf Blood train with them.

I was in their neighboring Wisconsin recently, and trust me, the festivals that go through there and how it’s supposedly the origin of Thrash Metal in America according to some stoner dude I met on the street (not true at all,) Minnesota they can handle a lot more metal culture inside the scene and out.

A powerful portrait is constructed in the first track ‘Witch,’ of a vengeful woman, tied to a cross and set a blaze. Lighting the precedent for this psychedelic, pagan blend of doom, Wolf Blood let the bass groves hang low and heavy, keeping the vocals to a happy medium. The solitary instrumental track, ‘Ochro Ologo’s’ menacing force pummels it’s way forward, paving the way for ‘Black Moon,’ which contains my favourite riff of the album. When you hear it, you’ll know. That driving force is relentless. If played to a different tuning, it could have been a Razor riff.

‘Dancing On Your Grave’ was catchy as hell and remains my favourite on the album. Brian’s bass is prominent and playful. Jake’s wavering vocals sound semi-submerged as he handles the kit masterfully. Each guitar break leaves just enough space for the the next verse to flow or your head to bang in perfect rhythmic balance.

6 tracks long and an athame blade deep, Wolf Blood’s self-titled debut will fulfill your every need for raw, honest riffage, bass heavy mystery and properly recorded drums that don’t sound like plastic over everything else. For fans of Electric Wizard, Uzala, Mala Suerte, Acid King, Dopethrone and Demon Lung, check this band out! I have high hopes for them.

 

9/10

Wolf Blood on Facebook

 

CHRISTINE HAGER

Myrkur – Myrkur

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Many times the the world of underground music is portrayed by those that cover it just as they would a team sport. It is very much a tribal and gang mentality of sub-genre police between music scribes and it seeps down to the tastes of fans. No place does this division exist than in the varied, and varicose world of Black Metal. The many factions alternately give it life, while others are trying to raze it to a stump. Still, it is great music that is the elixir for this illness, and great music is what the debut full-length, self-titled recording from Myrkur brings us.

Scandinavian in origin, Myrkur’s singular name and haunting sound conjure a myriad of mental images with a cross between brutal passages couched between somber motifs, and the cold claustrophobic feeling of an inescapable ice floe. From sorrowful vocals to crushing dynamic swells, this album has all the best touches of the genre. Raw, but not too raw, but very well done overall.

The songs are really the thing here, not just the atmospherics. From the Opera and chamber quality canticles, to bleak harshness, every nerve is uncovered. The gentle hush of the opening of ‘Ravnens Banner’ gives way to apocalyptic barrages of blastbeats and killer riffs. Tracks such as ‘Frosne Vind’ and ‘Må Du Brænde i Helvede’, lull you into a soft chill out moment, before roaring to life with anguish. The entire album is a gem, but my favorite track is ‘Nattens Barn’. Not only is it crushing and deep, it has a proggy part to it that almost sounds like ‘Bolero’ by Ravel, but that may be my inner classical nerd trying read too much into a good jam.

Unlike most black metal that comes across my headphones, the production on this album is pretty impressive, well thought out and not lacking by accident or on purpose in a hipster way. It’s possible that some readers may be wondering why I waited until this point in the review mention that Myrkur happens to be a solo woman act rather than a band. That fact that she is a women, or a lone artists making great black metal is immaterial for review purposes here. Women fronting killer black metal bands is not a novelty, but the opportunity to have such a high profile release on a label like Relapse for one, well I hope that doesn’t go unnoticed by anyone.

Emotionally gripping from first note to last, this is a powerhouse release that has already clawed it’s way into my year end top albums list.

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9/10.0

Myrkur on Facebook

KEITH CHACHKES