“Earth Made Flesh”

By Dr. Abner Mality

With a name like Wyrmwoods, you know I’d be all over this like ugly on ape! 

Wow, this is quite the eccentric release. The work of one man named Nuurag-Vaarn (no, not the emperor of the Klingons), this gets lumped in the “atmospheric black metal” category, but I don’t think I would categorize it as anything but “avant-garde” music. I think a slight comparison can be made to the great Thy Catafalque, but this is much murkier and more chaotic than that awesome Hungarian project. You have to have a VERY open mind to really get into this, but if you do, the result is something unpredictable and not like anything else on the market.

There’s a little bit of everything here.  Let’s look at the epic closing track “The One as Chaos and Egg” as an example. Winding for more than 15 minutes, this starts with stark piano before morphing into crushing death/doom in the vein of the heaviest My Dying Bride. The heavy parts of Wyrmwoods are very unsettling….extremely noisy, dirty and chaotic. Not “necro” in the underproduced sense, but with everything pushed so far into the red that it melts. Then there’s a very ethereal ambient part featuring watery sounding guitar that could be on any post-metal album. The vocals are barely discernable echoey shouts and rasps. The track then explodes into heaviness that gradually increases in speed, becoming extremely dense. This is where the black metal side of the band becomes apparent. After a climax is reached, the album ends with a long, relaxing stretch of cool ambience. This is just one track!

The album really keeps you guessing. There’s a tune called “Saturnalia” that is dirty industrial noise with ritualistic percussion and rhythms. “Abomination” and “The Greater Festival of Masks” blast with ugly, jarring metal. “Primordial Waters” is a long soundscape that even features sax before hitting the heavy, mid-paced “The Well of Urth”.

At some points, the album was distracting to listen to, at others it was so chaotic that it was a challenge. But it was never boring and I can’t directly compare it to anything else. Wyrmwoods deliver a crazy rollercoaster ride through the amusement park of extreme metal!