Friday, November 18, 2016
Worm Ouroboros : "What Graceless Dawn"
This album is so ethereal it opens with a song that is almost intangible. The vocals are alluring in their alto croon, but don't feel like they get much of chance to do much more than haunt you until the second song takes more gloomy form. Vocally her their singer reminds me of Jarboe. The drums are pretty minimal which is a shame considering Aesop from Agalloch is on the kit. It's their performance opening up for Agalloch a few years ago that clued me in to these guys. The do carrying this almost doom like mood into something with more movement to give this song the dynamic lift it needed. By the time you get to "Suffering Tree' it's fair to assume they are not a metal band or really going for heavy anything, but the atmosphere they are trying to hypnotize you with. The song does lock into more of a dynamic punch at the five minute mark, but you have also being lulled into a dreamy state for the first five minutes, so if you are an Agalloch fan checking this out , know this is not metal. I could hear this album possibly appealing to mellower fans of doom.
After two minute of ambiance the vocal drift into "Ribbon of Shadow". The song slowly pulses to a more doom tinged life of it's it's own. The first hints of a more metallic intention begin to formulate during the second half of this song. There is an even fainter vocal amid the whale sounds that open "The Cruelest Thing". The song eventually comes together to jam out into a dismal post-rock kind of thing. Dekker's drumming here finds it's chance to shine. By the end of the song I was ready for them to get over the atmosphere and actually rock out. So this is what was coloring my mood as a listener going into the album's final song "Night". So when it started out with whispered mutterings I knew it was going to be a challenge.
At some point you have to draw the line as to where the atmosphere ends and you are going to commit to making a song. When Jarboe did this in the context of Swans you knew there was going to be more of a pay off , by way of them pounding your ear drums. Here there is no such promise. When you are eight minutes in and still plodding over the same minimal pulse then the song writing needs to be called into question.I'll give this one a 7.5, I feel like they should go ahead and commit to doing the doom thing.