Jul 252012

(In February 2011, we reviewed the 2010 debut EP of Dublin’s Wound Upon Wound. Today, NCS writer Andy Synn provides his assessment of the band’s debut full-length album, which was released earlier this month and is available for free download.)

Brothers and sisters, I am here today to talk about… DOOM!!!!

Blackened doom at least. Or, Doomy black metal. Genre terms are confusing. Either way this album is a monolithic treatise on desperation and despair, soundtracked by venomous tremolo melodies and crushing slabs of doom-laden guitars.

An admission though, first. Doom isn’t one of the genres I am particularly au fait with. Though there’s a crossover with some of the more melodic, melancholic stuff I find pleasure in imbibing (a pint of Daylight Dies always goes down smooth) I’m definitely something of a neophyte when it comes to the slow struggle, at least on record (though I have experienced the breaking weight of several devastating doom bands in the flesh).

But Wound Upon Wound are far from a simple Doom band. The name itself should tell you that. No, what we have here is a black metal band who are not only unafraid to ease up on the speed once in a while, but who actually revel in reining in their breakneck speed suddenly, reducing their momentum to a crushing, cataclysmic crawl, all the chaos and calamity crashing together in a massive pile-up of sickening, juddering riffage. Continue reading »

Feb 252011

Black metal in Ireland seems to be alive and well and exploding with talent. I have a feeling that metalheads outside of Ireland will be hearing more and more about that scene. Here in the Emerald City, where the weather is now probably even more dank and dreary than in the Emerald Isle, we know the names Primordial and Altar of Plagues, but we have now heard the music of two Irish black metal bands in as many weeks — Eternal Helcaraxe (which we wrote about here) and now Wound Upon Wound — that have truly knocked us down.

Listening to the five-song, 2010 EP (Grievance) by Dublin’s Wound Upon Wound is like witnessing a musical odyssey. Whether what we hear is evidence of the band’s song-writing progression over time in a particular musical direction or simply canny track organization, moving from the first song to the last is a fascinating and immersive experience – like being slowly pulled into an increasingly dark and somber dream.

It is also a genuinely impressive experience, because the band play with great confidence and a remarkably mature understanding of song structure and the ways in which music can elicit a range of emotional responses. This is a taste of potentially wonderful things to come, and we won’t have to wait long for confirmation, because Wound Upon Wound have a debut album on the way.  (more after the jump, including a track to hear . . .) Continue reading »