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Album Review: BLACK WOUND Warping Structure


There’s a number of risks inherent in making metal like this. Death-doom can either be one of the most sublimely satisfying forms of metal available to human ears, or it can just bore you to tears. Many bands, in the attempt to be as crushing as possible, make meandering, painfully plain compositions lacking all hooks and dynamics. Others, trying to add some sort of avant-garde element to seem “different,” crank out unlistenable drek. Sweden’s Black Wound has found the right balance between aural terror and riff-writing prowess to avoid these common mistakes.

Listening to Warping Structure is like existing in a world of nightmares, but they’re the haunted dreams of other people that you get to view as an observer. There’s an escape, you can turn the music off and walk away. But you don’t, do you? It’s all too fascinating to hear the distorted bass, blistering guitars, and pounding drums mix with the multifarious vocal talents of William Kaloczy for you to depart this world. Speaking of those pounding drums, pay special attention to Gustaf Magnusson‘s snare sound. It’s the kind of snare you’d more readily expect on a hardcore record, and it gives the sound an unhinged quality that keeps you eager for more.

If you need a frame of reference, you could think of Black Wound as similar to bands like Dragged Into Sunlight, Spectral Voice, and Coffinworm — but with an energy that marks the band out as its own sonic entity. That said, you can hear notes of Disembowelment in some of the more atmospheric moments, and even some distant echoes of Eyehategod, Incantation, and Immolation buried beneath the layers of sedimentary terror.

Warping Structure is an absolutely devastating album, definitely meant to be taken in as a whole experience. It all flows so well together, that it’s hard to pluck out individual songs to call out as “favorites.” However, a couple tracks do naturally pop out of the speakers as real bangers. The album’s shortest song, “Rag,” is a natural moshing track for sure. The title track has the most infectious atmosphere, as guitarist Daniel Lysatchov is given plenty of time to let his opening riff play out and pull us in. And if you’re looking for the most straightforward death metal song, turn the volume extra loud for “Trench Blast.”

That said, there is no filler to be found here. If you want a death-doom record with lots of reverb, lots of brutality, and lots of reasons to scare yourself, this is the record for you. There are countless bands playing this sort of death-doom now, many of them emerging about a decade ago. Many of them became the delight of metal journalists, somehow. And many of them failed to catch on much beyond that cohort because the hype was really just hype. But believe me when I say there is a whole dark world to discover on this record. And don’t worry, there’s a mosh pit in that world. Who knew something so noisy could be this listenable?

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