Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Hyper-chilling ultra-mechanized black metal. Wolok's third album shows them becoming less enigmatic and arcane musically while embracing a far more punishing and upfront sound that is no less distancing. The name of the game is dissonance and Wolok's owning it thus far. These riffs and these songs traffik in incredibly oblique melodicisms, resorting to simple, almost comical chromatic progressions behind unending double bass drum machine patterns. Very little makes sense or has any sort of groove or flow to it-it's all broken, all the time, sputtering and spinning and dizzying until some sort of headbanging riff gets thrown out and ridden for a few seconds until it all falls back into the martial and frigid feel established from the outset. Guitars are heavily effected, laden with flangers and watery, dripping choruses-such syrupy treatments easily lend themselves to the idea of auditory nausea that Wolok is perpetuating throughout "Caput Mortuum." This isn't black metal so much as it is atmospheric exercise gussied up in black metal's trappings-there's guitars aplenty but everything is so much more given over to machines and mechanics, and that cold dead void feeling reigns over this record like the chilly cloud of death. "Repellence Serum" forgoes these sounds entirely and presents four minutes worth of screaming, treated ever so gently with some echo and delay for effect but otherwise given as is, the cries of torment and torture thrown into the pit for your approval. It's disconcerting to say the least but it makes sense-Wolok may as well be H.R. Giger's psychosexual landscapes rendered into sound, vague depictions of torture and masochism thrown up against massive dark walls of indifference. Frightening and alien and beyond comprehension, threatening and stalking. This is an album definitely not for everyone, but for those willing to delve into some dark recesses of psychology the rewards are ample.

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