Hailing from the dark forests of the great British Isle comes Wulvyr and their first full length release Moon.Malice.Heresy, a tragically triumphant black metal assault. This is a strong continuation of the previous two demo release, combining chaotic elements of frantically tremolo picked guitars, raw and harsh production and painfully piercing vocals. The masked figure behind the band, who goes by Waste Walker, opens up lyrically on this album, touching upon rather emotionally charged subjects that seem almost personal and something that Waste Walker experienced and has over come.
With a beautifully mysterious acoustic opening, the album shocks the listener into focus with brutal guitar riffs, punishing drums and a hellish voice that rips the listener apart. Its like being thrown into a chaotic rush of anxiety and hatred. The riffs are catchy and addicting to listen to and the production is just raw and crisp, having a nice bite to it that is somewhat reminiscent to bands like Kommodus, Febris Manea, Endless Nothing, Bone Awl, and others. Each track runs rather long as well, with only a few ambient pieces that break up the well over seven and a half minute long tracks, its quite the journey that this album puts the listener through.
The journey gets even deeper when you factor in the lyrics. While they are steeped deep in a dark fantasy aesthetic, there’s an underlying theme all through out the album of loss, death, redemption, war and of course victory. While on paper these themes seem like something that comes up in all sorts of metal bands, black or not, the way Waste Walker expresses these lyrics seem like they come from somewhere much deeper. Burned Black Cold Hills is an example of some rather heavy lyrics of loss at war and the memories that are kept. The last track Waste Walker (To Journey Lonely Lands) is another great example of the personal hardships and journey Waste Walker himself had trekked through to get to where he is now. These lyrics combined with the chaotic and frantic instrumentation create a rather unique dynamic, and even at times hint to a gleaming light at the end of this long dark tunnel. A shimmering silver lining that leaves hope despite the hardships of it all.
Personally I’ve found the guitars on this album to be incredibly powerful and addicting to listen to. The riffs, as mentioned before, chaotic and frantic, but with that hint of hope especially in the slower parts, sunk its teeth into me and hooked me in. Ontop of that, the wailing solos that are strewn through out the album are reminiscent of old school thrash and war metal wailing. Waste Walker truly shows off his skills on the guitar all through out.
This is a master class of modern black metal. Truly something that relights the fire and passion that got me deep into this genre in the first place. The balance between chaotic tragedy and triumphant victories and raw harsh production intermixed with beauty of the lyrics simply made this one of my favorite albums of 2023 and cemented Wulvyr as one of my top favorite modern black metal acts. This is a must listen to all, especially fans of Kommodus, Endless Dismal Moan, Febris Manea, Endless Nothing, Bone Awl, and other raw depressive black metal acts.
PHYSICAL RELEASE VIA GOATOWAREX SOON