Tuesday, July 12, 2011

WRNLRD - "Death Drive EP" (2010) [Flingco Sound System]

Throughout its existence, the US black metal scene has been a reaction against the European norm. While clearly adopting the style in the beginning, American bands have steadily made their presence known with a uniquely "American" sonic approach and sound to their music; whether it be droning and melodic or a raw, punky affair, one can still say "Yeah, that band is from the States. No question." Of course, nowadays this whole "Yeah, America!" sort of sound has stagnated; bands turning to one specific sonic core, whether it be an overall stylistic element or a band of note, to emulate. Yeah, there are some good bands that emerge from that sound center, but in the end you can't really say you haven't heard it before. It's becoming stale - we need something new.

Along with a few other bands (there are more, but I've run out of words to hyperlink), Virginia black metal enigma WRNLRD, with a handful of full-lengths and EPs under their belt, have risen to the occasion and regularly challenge the stagnating American scene. The Death Drive EP, WRNLRD's latest release on Chicago's own FlingcoSoundSystem, is comprised of eighteen minutes of the most mind-melting, psyche-altering, unorthodox "black metal," if one could even classify them under that genre title anymore, I've ever heard.

Choosing not to wait, WRNLRD begins this EP with the disjointed, avant-jazz of "Precursor" and pummels the listener with a nonstop onslaught of confusing, shifting musical styles. Ranging from the bleakest, heaviest of metal to a softer, more gentle piano piece, and maybe even a poppy blues or even country-like pedal steel guitar solo (in "Moonlight Ride"), WRNLRD's demented, horrific take on music in general is not one to ignore. Oh, and the infamous Dwid Hellion of hardcore juggernaut Integrity has a guest spot on this album. Weird enough for you yet?

Get ready, because this EP is going to take you for a ride you will never forget.

Defy logic, order this 10" now.


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