Wolvhammer - The Obsidian Plains CD
WOLVHAMMER (USA) - The Obsidian Plains (2011) (sealed CD copy). With a line-up including ex-Nachtmystium guitarist Jeff Wilson and ex-Across Tundras drummer Heath Rave, Wolvhammer have paced themselves ahead of the curve with its atmospheric and unsettling brand of Black Metal. When required, the band can lay down the tremolo guitar riffs and nasty blast beats, but that doesn’t bode well for the band’s ingenious side.
It’s when the songs revolve around moody set pieces and excruciating build-ups that the album pushes the envelope. Wolvhammer does not just write music that could act as a killing soundtrack for coked-up madmen. The band employs clean guitars - not acoustic, though - and has no qualms about using these on almost every song.
There may be some mentions of Sludge and Crust Punk elements, but at its core, Wolvhammer is a Black Metal act. That means plenty of raspy, but understandable, growls from new vocalist Adam Clemans. He does a great job filling the shoes of former vocalist Ryan McKern. “The Obsidian Plains” also has the always-handy Sanford Parker as producer.
“The Obsidian Plains” unleashes its painful howls in well-timed intervals, like the salt being strategically placed on the wound. Like Wilson’s former act, Wolvhammer has its heart in Black Metal, but its mind in more progressive templates. As the year winds to an end, “The Obsidian Plains” makes the case as one of the better outputs to be released from the genre in recent memory. **originally published on metalunderground.com** Profound Lore Records – PFL 85