WOLD - _Screech Owl_
(Profound Lore, 2007)
by: T. DePalma (9 out of 10)
For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.

And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.

...The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.

Isaiah 34.

WOLD "An Habitation of Dragons and a Court for Owls"

The sophomore record by Canadian black-noise trio WOLD is a mystery cried from the Saskatchewan prairie. The group professes the "Mytho Poetic" in their terse five-point manifesto found on the Profound Lore website and follows through in a purposely ambiguous format that comes into confrontation with the dark powers of the natural world.

In numerous cultures, the owl has been seen either as a symbol of wisdom or of mortality. In ancient Athens, its cryptic gaze was associated with the Goddess Athena. To the Celts it was known as the "night-hag" or "corpse-bird". Roman parents remained fearful of the dreaded Strige, said to drain the life of young children while they slept. Even Shakespeare saw the owl as an evil omen over the last days of Julius Caesar. In Isaiah's warning to Israel of Yahweh's wrath, it is the dark-mother Lilith who is said to inhabit the metaphor, her wicked brood now accompanying WOLD with pointed hats and excoriations of virgin flesh.

Skinned bodies are the product of savage psyches. Members Opex, Obey and Fortress Crookedjaw smear the ointment and take flight. _Screech Owl_ is energy defined by an orchestrated confusion, both in sound and text. Weirdly poetic allusions to their native territory are connected here with various myths and folklore (Odin, Kvasir, The Dragon, Urian) among representations of roughly sketched demons and their hag consorts.

The style itself is a radical step away from the gentler acoustic-folk exhibitions normally used to signal an earthen "awareness". But _Screech Owl_ is not naturalism, its abstract transformation. Here modern tools are set to lust after an demonic idol.

The remote atmosphere of the flatland is amplified through a shrieking rite. Esoteric rants are suitably dressed up in adverse frequency shifts, feedback and hypnotic loops of foaming guitar channels. All slightly more delicate than the sore, pustular crone voice that marks each of these thirteen tracks. What's most disturbing is that the words spoken are still understandable as English even through their offensive pitch. At time these are also performed in turns of character, dialogue spat from the same cruel maw.

Structurally, lucid melody exerts itself through these clouded iterations, a repition that underlines the propitiary nature of this theatrical paean to old-tyme witchcraft. The harsh ambience comes on as an imitative coupling of environment and electric consciousness playing out as rude creation / fuck. Its tech-spawned rhythm proceeding as a lunar film projector ticking away in darkness, a moon-machine uncovered in the thick of the night sky forever stretching across the world -- "She", the enveloping predator and protector that inspires WOLD's dynamic will to power.

Contact: http://www.profoundlorerecords.com

(article published 4/2/2007)


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