Let’s descend into the pit once again, shall we? And burn a little very black ink on that bloodied altar that eagerly awaits its next ritual.
Wormlight from Sweden are on the prowl again. And their 2018 offering Wrath of the Wilds hungers to be seen.
And there’s urgency.
The band already got on our best dark side with their latest EP Bloodfields, and we somehow kept a lookout ever since. Only this time, the radar must have rusted shut, and we are somewhat late with a review. But who cares, as long as the sound is just right, and talks to your blackened soul.
And it is an unholy hunger, one that is reminiscent of the ’90s Black Metal movement of the 2nd wave masters. Yet here, Tiamat Invictuz gets us a mix between Darkend, the stricken abysses of Helrunar and the Blackened Death Metal warriors of NordWitch. With enough Melodic Black Metal in there to keep Balfor and their ilk happy as well.
In other words, the Scandinavian Black Metal scene is far from dead.
Wrath of the Wilds delivers a medley of red-hot Black Metal that will not need any burning churches to stand out from its brethren. If anything, their tune is the perfect amalgamation of what has been out there before. Expertly mixed and delivered with the power of the Dark Lord.
Since Bloodfields released, Wormlight marched down that dreary path of theirs and followed up with a powerful set of tracks. Wrath of the Wilds – the title track – wastes no second to make this direction known. A tasty mix of competing Death Metal growls on a bed of pure tremolo-picked Black Metal.
Once Reptilian King starts with its Black Metal scream, you know that Wrath of the Wilds really means business. Did anybody tell Dani Filth already that his trademark screams just blew themselves to smithereens? The track’s Blackened Death Metal continues to fascinate me. Specifically that the style kind of oscillates between Black and Death Metal. Very subtly done, too.
And that is one of the strong suits that Wormlight created for this record. The swift, almost indiscernible changes in between styles together with a goodly share of melodical interventions do keep things interesting.
Just head over to the mid-tempo Vittramark and its unusual intro, until it descends into a pretty cool version of Extreme Metal that we fancy over here. We’ll even forgive them some Heavy Metal-esque chugging in The Ghostlight’s Dance.
Yet, after a while, Wrath of the Wilds grows a tad strained.
For some reason, the band stuffed the tracks full of dark sound bytes. And let ‘er rip in a relentless tsunami of Black Metal sounds. Not only does that beat your ears out of shape, but – truly – it grinds you down after a while.
Black Metal without intensity is weak tea, true. But here, instead of artfully breaking things down, Wormlight just hit you with top-heavy war blows. A sonic blast wave that just never stops. And this may just be too much for some, even informed adepts blackened metal multiverse.
If you want to find out what I mean, check out Nightmare. In itself, this is a neat track. But this thing is stuffed to the gills with all sorts of styles and flavors the Melodic Black Metal universe has on offer. So much so, that this track would split well into 2-3 different parts.
And you wouldn’t even know they did that.
But then Wrath of the Wilds hides gems like Feast of the Mountain Kin, which comes complete with an intro. At almost 10 minutes of airtime for both tracks, this duo really balances well. And serves you this type of Extreme Metal that lurches forward like some unbeatable force. A little bit like Batushka did a while back.
Finally, Wrath of the Wilds delivers a nuanced load of Melodic Black Metal that will truly appeal to the fan base. Wormlight clearly stepped up the quality of their wares. But – in the process – the band almost lost themselves in a gazillion of miscellaneous Black Metal sounds. In other words, less would be more in that case, no need to bludgeon your fans into a pulp with a thousand metal hammers, when one would suffice.
Yet, the hot furnace that fuels Wrath of the Wilds’ metal thoroughly convinced the RMR deck crew. This is one mature chunk of Melodic Black Metal that we truly enjoyed.
Keep going, Wormlight, this crew already looks forward to your next metal delight.