Thulcandra is a German band whose 2010 album Fallen Angels Dominion (reviewed here) was an utterly faithful and beautifully rendered homage to Dissection. The band’s 2011 follow-up, Under A Frozen Sun, was also very good and proved that Thulcandra’s talents exceed even what was achieved on the debut, though it was one of many deserving releases I didn’t find time to write about last year.
Thanks to Thulcandra, I recently discovered a new band called Wraithcult. Its members include two Thulcandra participants, the “evil twins”, Sebastian and Tobias Ludwig (guitarist/vocalist and bassist, respectively). Both Sebastian and Tobias were also active for five years in yet a third band, the now-defunct Helfahrt, and two other former Helfahrt members have joined them to complete the line-up in Wraithcult: guitarist Markus Klüpfel and drummer Andreas Mecker.
Wraithcult have recorded a debut album called Gestalt (with Dark Fortress guitarist V. Santura at the helm). When I wrote the original version of this post, two of the album’s songs were available for streaming, and those were the two that convinced me this band is worth following. In doing a quick check for possible updates to this post, I discovered that the entire album is now available for streaming.
I tried listening to the album stream while working my fucking day job (which has become a fucking day-and-night job), because at the moment that’s the only way I have any chance of listening to music, but it didn’t work out very well.
I have enough trouble concentrating without distractions, and Gestalt is really distracting. Though I haven’t listened to the entire stream yet, I wanted to get the word out now, and in the meantime I’ll give you some impressions about the two songs I heard when I first drafted this post. If you’re familiar with the music of Helfahrt, don’t think Wraithcult is a cookie-cutter of that band’s music. Despite the substantial line-up overlap, Wraithcult is going in different directions.
In “Prophet Deceiver”, Sebastian Ludwig’s vocals spray acid, but the song isn’t the usual blasting, tremolo-hazed fury that you might associate with traditional black metal. Instead, it’s a mid-paced crusher that begins with heavy, pounding chords and then transitions into a black ‘n’ roll headbanger. Before the song ends, Wraithcult delivers a moody guitar melody and satisfyingly massive bass chords.
“Cold Moon” punches the accelerator with a dissonant intro, switches gears into another catchy black ‘n’ roll rhythm, and then switches back into a dose of blast-beats and swarming guitars. The trading off between those segments continues, punctuated by clanging bass notes and neck-snapping rhythmic interludes. Fine, fine song.
This is a style of melodic black metal that I really enjoy. The drums and bass are prominent, and the low end is heavy and thundering. The vocals are infernal and scathing. The riffs are catchy and powerful, and the band’s use of rock-style rhythms adds variety. Whenever I can get clear of work shit, I’m really looking forward to hearing the whole album. Here are the two songs I just attempted to describe:
To listen to the entirety of Gestalt, go HERE. I haven’t yet found any info about a release date or how the album will be distributed.