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WLVNNST (2016), 5/10
Void (2018), 5/10
Temple (2021), 4.5/10
The Dark Path to the Light (2023), 5.5/10

Belgium's doom-metal outfit Wolvennest debuted with WLVNNST (2016), a collaboration with Albin Julius and Marthynna of Der Blutharsch, a revision and extension of Der Blutharsch's and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand's three-song EP The Wolvennest Sessions (2015): five lengthy pieces of old-fashioned gothic rock (Unreal), "blackened" doom-metal (Partir, Tief Under) and collage (Nuit Noire de L'Ame), peaking with the stately and almost symphonic 20-minute esoteric ceremony of Out of Darkness Deep.

Void (2018) has six lengthy pieces, but the ratio of good music remains roughly the same. The instrumental Silure (11:46) blends electronic gloom, black-metal droning distortion and psychedelic jamming. The vocals (more spoken than sung) are generally a drawback, but they fit the solemn atmosphere of Void (12:13) which after a few minutes unleashes a tearing guitar solo and eventually ends in sparse sounds evoking cosmic void. For seven minutes La Mort (17:18) is a slow, steady and noisy crescendo, a dizzying approach to the demonic pounding jam that occupies the next ten minutes (alas, ruined by spoken vocals). There are intriguing ideas, but too diluted and unedited.

The 77-minute double-LP Temple (2021), which now boasts eight lengthy pieces, begins with the 12-minute disfigured acid jam Mantra (ruined as usual by sinister declamations), and then rolls out one moribund lament after the other. Without the vocals there could be something to save, but the vocals destroy even the few parts that are neither redundant nor derivative. For lovers of gothic spoken-word recitation, Souffle de Mort offers perhaps the richest and most ominous experience.

The Dark Path to the Light (2023) is at least a humbler work. They take inspiration from Nico for the droning and exotic chant Lost Civilizations, by far their best song yet (also the shortest ever). Then they start spinning their usual macabre litanies. This time the guitar noise works wonders in Deathless Love, and the emphatic The Timeless All and Nothing has more serious (growling) vocals. But it's still hard to listen to the tedious chanting of Adversaries and The Dark Path to the Light (nine endless minutes).

(Copyright © 2024 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )