Evil, hissing and ear-crackling black metal is on offer from 'Postsocial', a record that comes out of the genre's hallmarks but makes them even more extreme -- this is, if anything, harsh noise, a wall of impenetrable noise and a collection of wind tunnels blocking out any melody and leaving behind nothing more than an onslaught of piercing vocals. Wold continue to abstract black metal beyond the point of return.
LP £14.49 RAVE007
LP on The Death of Rave.
- Shipping cost: £3.15 ?
CD £9.99 PFL132
CD on Profound Lore.
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Originally released on CD earlier in 2014 by Profound Lore, Wold's eighth album gets a welcome vinyl release via The Death Of Rave. However this edition raises the question; does an album really need to exist on vinyl to the extent that the original intended running order is disrupted in order to fit it across two sides of vinyl? I'd usually be beside myself getting hold of this on wax but I'm not gonna buy it again as I already have the CD and prefer to hear it in the intended sequence. However if you don't do CD's and are a vinyl devotee then of course this album is well worth owning. That's assuming you like noise from the bowels of hell with bitter sounding, gruesome black metal style vocals.
Often classified as black metal, Wold don't really have any obvious similar contemporaries within that scene, the enigmatic Saskatchewan duo of Fortress Crooked Jaw (Worshipful Master Eternal) and Obey (six string scourge) have carved out a sound all their own. The music is entirely informed by bookworm Fortress Crookedjaw's ideology, one which for me I find safer not to read too much into. The artist claimed the music and ideology are inseparable but I find with Wold's music I'm able to easily enjoy the sheer sonic attack without worrying myself too much about the content of his poetry. Lyrics are included for those that wish to delve deeper.
Some of 'Post Social's walls of sound are reminiscent of recent Skullflower work with many layers of caustic, bleak and doomy textures rubbing against Broken Flag flavoured power electronics.
As with previous Wold albums cliched black metal tropes; tales of Middle Earth and explicit satanic references are avoided although each of the five tracks here denotes a point in the inverted star. There's no beauty here, only desolation but emptiness never sounded so thrilling.
I wonder if Thurston Moore thinks these guys are pussies?
9/10 @SoeJherwood Customer review, 8th October 2014
Wold are one of the few sonic anomalies out there in the ever-expanding musical landscape, creating music quite unlike anything or anyone else. Maybe nobody else is deranged enough to craft such twisted squall, but the band's sustained singularity is nonetheless commendable. Postsocial, their latest (and possibly final) transmission, positions them as extreme outliers in the already-outlier genre of black metal. This is black metal turned against itself; a truly subversive full-scale attack on what black metal can and should sound like, all while utilising some of its most well-documented tropes. So, the associated aesthetics - pentagrams, guttural vocals - are present and correct, but the music most certainly is not. Postsocial is closer in sound to a noise tape than it is to the blast beats and fast-paced riffage of the more traditional black metal acts; think less Bathory, Venom and so on, and more Aaron Dilloway and Merzbow territory.
Right from the outset, "Throwing Star" begins with what sounds like a tape malfunction before descending into pure cacophony. There are no real sonic details to cling onto, no riffs, hooks or drums: this is a complete dirge, and the effect is somewhat visceral and thrilling. When Fortress Crookedjaw, Wold's bandleader of sorts, does open his mouth to unleash his raspy squeal, the lyrics are all but indecipherable without a lyric sheet, and probably better off that way if Wold's imagery is anything to go by. For anyone familiar with the band pre-Postsocial, the vocals of "Five Points" may be somewhat surprising; easily the clearest thing they've committed to tape, Crookedjaw's yelps of "five points!" are at once despairing and terrifying, yet their comprehensibility gives them a strangely stirring quality as well, amidst the instrumental chaos going on around them.
Postsocial, then, is only nominally a black metal record. Really, this is one of the most violent aural assaults of 2014, an intoxicatingly abrasive passage of din which will be heard by few, and accepted by fewer, and that's probably exactly how Wold like it. Post-black metal, post-sound, Postsocial.
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