Wolvennest - Vortex review




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Reviewer:
8.2

11 users:
7.91
Band: Wolvennest
Album: Vortex
Release date: April 2019


01. Spirit Of The Black Wolven Dogs And The Wild White Horses
02. Vortex
03. The Storm


Refusing to rest of their laurels after their triumph in the 2018 Metal Storm Awards, Wolvennest have already released new material following last year's epic Void. A more bite-sized effort this time around, how does Vortex stack up to their previous work?

Wolvennest found themselves a winning formula on Void, with many of the songs following a similar structure: A prolonged (2-4 minutes) quiet introduction slowly building up to the emergence of a typically mid-tempo black metal-influenced riff and rhythm base, upon which layers were slowly built. That kind of measured approach works fine on a near-70-minute album with songs that regularly breach the 10-minute mark, but one would anticipate a slightly more direct approach on a 3-song, 21-minute EP. Not so, as opener "Spirit Of The Black Wolven Dogs And The Wild White Horses", if anything, feels like exclusively a build-up track. Repeating murmurings about wild white horses are gradually replaced by guitars and drums that emerge in prominence without ever really letting loose. Add in the minute-long 'creepy horror keyboard' intro to the title track, and nearly a third of Vortex has passed before a real riff occurs. Haste clearly is not on the agenda here.

When the EP finally ignites, however, the sound is, whilst clearly from the same band as its predecessor, a bit of a new flavour compared to what was found on Void. With possibly the exception of the title track from that record, nothing that preceded "Vortex" really delivered quite the same slow place and bleak vibe that is found on the title track here. Another relatively new trait is the ability to mix things up; whilst the songs on Void would add layers of guitars, electronics and more during the songs, the core drum rhythms and vocal approaches would generally remain somewhat static throughout. Conversely, on both the title track and the closer "The Storm", the drums are more willing to shift between different rhythms within songs. More notably, the vocals in each track demonstrate a real progression, gradually ramping up the intensity and pitch to match the instrumental developments of the song, and deliver an increasing powerful and suffocating atmosphere. These new additions, along with a sinister, ritualistic vibe sustained by the almost preacher-esque vocal style, culminate to make "The Storm" arguably the band's most effective song to date.

Due to the abridged runtime, Vortex isn't able to display the full range of Wolvennest's abilities; for one, I hope that the Gothic elements present on tracks such as "Ritual Lovers" maintain some presence in their future endeavours. At the same time, this record demonstrates that the band are capable of making advances on what was already an enthralling approach, and suggests that their next full-length could be something truly special.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


 



Written on 23.04.2019 by I'm just a guy with an opinion.


Comments

Comments: 2   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 57 users
23.04.2019 - 16:15
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Good review my dude, you've definitely made it sound intriguing and worth the listen even in spite of the short length. I really enjoyed Void last year and love it even more so now after seeing them do it in full at Roadburn (incredible set!), so I'm very eager to hear more out of this bunch: EP, full length, whatever else.
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Life was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed. Nothing changed, it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze.
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23.04.2019 - 19:03
musclassia
Written by Apothecary on 23.04.2019 at 16:15

Good review my dude, you've definitely made it sound intriguing and worth the listen even in spite of the short length. I really enjoyed Void last year and love it even more so now after seeing them do it in full at Roadburn (incredible set!), so I'm very eager to hear more out of this bunch: EP, full length, whatever else.


Cheers man! Yeah, Void was one of the few hidden gems I uncovered during the most recent MS Awards, I really dig the sound (and was jealous hearing from Radu that you Roadburn attendees got to hear the whole thing live!), but it's nice to have a more compact version of that sound.
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