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4 May 2010

Review: Loss (Wodensthrone)

Wodensthrone
Loss
Bindrune Recordings 2009

Loss is the debut album of UK black metal band Wodensthrone. It was recorded with the assistance of pagan black metal giants Negura Bunget, and sets out to explore the historical and cultural spirit of Europe’s pagan roots.

Unfortunately there is a major snag: Wodensthrone produce the same kind of mid pace keyboard-laden black metal that about a million other bands have been making ever since Emperor put out Nightside Eclipse. Slow, predictable tremolo picked progressions, washed out keys, unadventurous screeches, and an extremely muddy production do not exciting music make.

The lack of invention that plagues the music on this release makes for a rather slow experience, and while I suppose the CD serves adequately as background music I have the impression that this isn’t what black metal is supposed to be about.

At points, however, Wodensthrone switch gears, turning to acoustic and folk instrumentation – tribal drumming, flutes, clean vocals, and more characterful melodies. These parts of the album are much more interesting and indeed crest into the territory of beautiful. Unfortunately they are buried within the rest of the album’s rather generic lo-fi BM.

On the whole it seems to me that Wodensthrone would produce much richer and more exciting music if they abandoned black metal and fully embraced their psych-folk influence. Although I applaud their ambitions and the spirit that motivates what they do, I cannot see Loss making much of an impression on anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the world of black metal.

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