Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wolvserpent: Perigaea Antahkarana (2013)

Not Merely Amplifier Worship

Wolvserpent is an accessible drone doom band. At least, if that’s possible, then they are it. If there is an entry point to this realm, Perigaea Antahkarana might be it. Or perhaps that’s asking too much.

The thing about Sunn O))), or Nadja, or some manifestations of Boris: they sound cool and everything, but a lot of what they do doesn’t sound like a song. Throughout this album, Wolvserpent always sound like they’re playing a song. For a perfectly listenable 80 minutes, by the way, and if you know my reviews you know that I am extremely critical of bands who go on longer than necessary. Wolvserpent did not overstay their welcome.

Each of the five songs has its own character. “Within the Light of Fire” may be the best, featuring organ and hypnotic riffs with elements gradually added or removed to keep it from going stale. “In Mirrors of Water” sounds a little bit like a death metal band covering Agalloch—nature sounds and violin slowly give way to post-rock guitars, followed by gradually building drums and female vocals before morphing into an awesome black/doom monster. Closer “Concealed Among the Roots and Soil” takes it in a sludgier direction.

There’s more going on here than that, but the takeaway is that it’s monstrously huge, and should be listened to alone and at high volume, possibly in the dark. I don’t feel qualified to say whether amplifier worshippers will find satisfaction here, but it sounds good to me.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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