Wrnlrd - _Oneiromantical War_
(Flingco Sound System, 2008)
by: Dan Lake (7.5 out of 10)
YES! (Shhh... who knows what might be down here?) Yes. Wrnlrd remind me what I found so appealing about necro tin-coffin black metal in the first place: right up there with snakes and the next electric bill, it's one of the things most likely to give me a serious case of the creepy-crawlies. We're not talking about the Christ-hating war thunder that bands like Marduk or Gorgoroth spew forth every few years, but the whispering den of horrors in the vein of French wraiths Spektr. The evil leaking from _Oneiromantical War_ isn't about rebelling in a church full of gasping parishoners. It's cowering in a cursed Victorian mansion that is awake and wants to eat you.

All maniacal skin-bashing and Dali-clock chords draped in ambient tape-hiss, _Oneiromantical War_ is about as metal as Johnny 5 powering down while humming obscure lullabies -- which is to say, completely and nowhere near it at the same time. By taking a Brown Jenkins record and draining it of any musical ambitions (which weren't, like, astronomical to begin with), you might arrive at this desiccated, ruined shuffle. Well, maybe that's unfair, as there is a little frenetic riffing in "Silent Command" and "Breath of Doors", as well as some classical acoustic plucking near the middle of the album. Clearly someone knows how to play those instruments, and someone else (or maybe all of them) has orchestrated tempos and song sections, but just as clearly these guys are about atmosphere rather than anthem.

Before I knew that tremolo picking, blast beats, and the almighty rasp were the hallowed traditions of the form, this is how I thought black metal was supposed to sound: blasted out guitar tones and diseased rhythms with the flickering shadows of unidentified noises for a backdrop. This gutting of musical technique for sinister mind-tripping is, perhaps, a more pure revolt against truth and beauty than any rock-based composition can ever approach. I think I'll mention that to someone, just as soon as I find my way out of here. Maybe the exit's through that hall... I think I saw something moving down there...

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/wrnlrd

(article published 13/2/2011)


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