Friday, September 25, 2015

Wroth-Force and Wrath; USC Records, 2015

The shopping list for a recent trip to Amoeba in Los Angeles was headed with the simplest reminder for Disaster Amnesiac: "Some Black Metal", and, thankfully, I was able to find a really fine example of such in Force and Wrath by Dutch band Wroth.
This disc has been my constant Metal soundtrack for a few weeks now, and I'm seriously loving the deeply traditional Black-ness of it.
Take for instance the ripped, shredded vocals from Jeroen. You just have to love his banshee wailing across all tracks. Disaster Amnesiac can recall the first exposures to Black Metal in the 1990's, and it was often the insane feelings that the singers projected with their vocals that made a fan out of me. Wroth's vocalist sounds just perfect within those parameters, somewhat buried (and decaying) within the instrumental mix.
Also ripping is the instrumental interplay within the band. Their songs run a gamut of almost-Street Punk sounding D-Beat, faster tempo thrashers, and full-on Blackened blasting. Every song has the kind of gnarled, close to going off of the rails primitive energy that I have learned to really love from the genre. Screw "prowess", Wroth's music strikes this listener as being all about heavily evoked moods and feelings. Their full bore blasting passages on tunes such as Darkness Emanates have brought up memories for Disaster Amnesiac of reading Val Wilmer's great early 1970's book As Serious As Your Life, in which one drummer suggests that he want's to "stop time completely" with his drumming. I feel as though Bram on drums, Kenneth on bass, and the forementioned Jeroen do so at times; imagine yourself staring into swirling whirl pools or tornadoes as you hear Wroth do their primal best thrashing. These are not linear time passages at all. Also really compelling are tunes such as Blood On Dark Soil, in which they get this great feeling of wheels turning, spinning onward over some Metal Highway: an upgrade on the initial NWOBHM template!
Also included at the end of this disc are six tracks of demos, in which Wroth sound even more primitive and crushing, despite their having occurred later in time. 
Disaster Amnesiac has an acquaintance who feels as though Black Metal bands are unimaginative and derivative. I must disagree. Bands such as Wroth, seem to me to be using the influences of early bands, within Black Metal and without, to conjure up compelling new heavy sounds. Find this one and let it rip your mind to shreds.

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