Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Black Metal History Month- the Wakedead Gathering : "Fuscus,Strings of the Black Lyre"

This blackened death metal band stands out right from the first song. While a concept album with a strong horror theme, the atmosphere plays to that element, yet there are things like the strum of guitar that is placed between some of the first song's catchier riffs that elevate this above your average blast fest. You will be as surprised as I was to learn this is a one man band. The guitar playing is albums strong suit, but the drumming gets the job done and has an impressive double bass required of this sort of thing. The bassist steps out of the shadows to bring his distorted rumble into the fray to open the groove laden chug of "Deepwoods Nonesuch" to life. This is more on the death metal side of what they do. But it is dark enough to appeal to fans of black metal.  There is also something about the dirty grit they take on here here  that has an almost black n roll feel in a few places, however this is devoid of any of the punk influence that normally comes with that sort of thing. When the vocals go into the higher gasped rasp they also feel more like black metal. The first two songs are very well constructed and it's not just a bunch of riffs thrown together to make a song.

The tremolo picked guitar  of "Amnioticysts" starts off in a much more black metal direction, before the denser death metal feel over takes it.The lower gurgle of the vocals digs and even deeper grave here. There are hints of the days where death metal spawned from thrash in a few of the grooves on this song. It doesn't impress me as much as the first two songs. Things slow down to more of a doomy pace for "Lungwort". The verse finds a groove building into something more typically death metal. It's not derivative of any one band from the Tampa death metal scene of the 90s, but there are moments that bring to mind the likes of Deicide and Incantation. The entire album is very dark, this songs digs down into a more cavernous belch of the abyss. There is more of a steam rolling stomp to "the Harrowed Column". It also latches onto a Slayer like groove thanks to the ride cymbal.

The closing song "An Ancient Tradition" impressed me more the first time I heard it than when I went back to give this one another listen. It was not as doomy on the second listen, perhaps I knew the change however slight was coming. It's not the album's best moment, and kind of middle of the road for this project, but better than most of the metal that appears in my in-box.I'll round this album up to an 8, since it brings a darker shade to this flavor of blackened death metal.

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