Monday, July 21, 2014
Wolvhammer - Clawing Into Black Sun
For the lazy: Clawing Into Black Sun is a "covers-type" album by a doom/black metal band. Think Graveyard Classics-type records done by Nachtmystium, except... Wolvhammer are good enough songwriters to make this seemingly-"covers" album an original work. This is a covers album done by a band from an extreme metal genre who are actually great songwriters.
Opener, "The Silver Key," nice intro, and nice dynamics-- gives the blast beats time to work and time for the listener to heal.
"Lethe," track two, ambient sounds effects, not unlike Salome's only record, brief, then "Death Division," the most straightforward, "rock"-ish track here, a bit like something off Wolverine Blues. Borderline catchy, like Sisters of Mercy on Quaaludes. Sounds like a less-indulgent Nachtmystium. Played acoustically, you'd probably never notice this was metal. It might come off as more morbid alt-country, something like Sturgill Simpson.
Arvo Pärt's doomy black metal. Doom rock? Death and roll?
"Slaves to the grime," "The Desanctification," are, to put it mildly, quite rocking tunes....
"In Reverence" rageful, ends hauntingly
This is not black metal, it's too crude and slow: black stone, not black rock-- black monolith?
All the songs are fairly long; "Death rock" works as a descriptor; almost like an emo, 120 minutes-type of band that's too angry and despairing to write music that won't scare off their intended audience. They're too intense to pull off emo. Heehee. Nachtmystium-like. Jeff Wilson, guitarist, is ex-Nachtmystium. So, figures.
"A light that doesn't yield." Thin, abstract, flatted-third type chords that sound like Jack Johnson warped through a Absinthe-stained glass. Builds and builds and seems to progress, but inevitable doesn't. A good thing: highlights the despair of the underlying emotions. Trapped. Claustrophobic. Gregorian blackened death rock. Listen with earphones, and your skull will resound with these hymns like a mausoleum echoing with the hymns of mourners long departed the overgrown sepulcher. Jesus Christ that was poetic.
The building chants at the end of the song should be awesome live.
"When the edge of the razor is what you need." The adaptable, ever-evolving dirge.
"Clawing into black sun." Simple, stone chords (not metal) over a r-tard-played primal beat. For when you wake up in a new place and realize it's hell. And there's been no mistake; you're supposed to be there. Sounds like something off Assassins.
"Black! Black! Black! Black!" nice. Like the 1954 Richard Matheson short story, "Dance of the dead," e.g., "To flesh insensate!" etc. Like that generation's plaints of despair, of agony, of redemption. Prayers.
Black, ashen prayers. And Clawing Into Black Sun knows how to end. It just stops. No ambiance, no echoes, just... done.
It's a consistent sound: the baleful cries of your very tissues when they're infected, or burning, or cancerous; when, if you're being honest with yourself, you realize that you were poorly designed for life.
Music that teaches you how to die.
Jesus Christ. I'm gonna go watch Good Luck Charlie on Netflix now for some ear bleach.