Release Date: March 10, 2017
Label: Non Serviam Records
Personnel: Rydsheim (Guitar), Nine (Vocals), Nox (Guitar), Borka (Bass), Johtun (Drums)
Hailing from Sweden, Wormwood gives us their first, full length album with a melodic beauty entitled Ghostlands: Wounds from a Bleeding Earth. The following review will be short and sweet.
What I Liked:
The melodies found in this work are breathtaking, and had me visualizing rolling hills and high seas. Also, the harmonies in “Beneath the Ravens and Bones” and “The Windmill” are superb. I have a soft spot for harmonizing guitar pieces, and Ghostlands delivers. I have to admit, going into a black metal album, I didn’t expect such light-hearted, uplifting guitar melodies.
I would be remiss to not mention the percussion section held down by Johtun. The drums aren’t overbearing with the symbols like you’d find Lars Ulrich doing on Death Magnetic; they complement the music and are the driving force being the symphonic melodies throughout.
What I Didn’t Like:
The vocals. I understand this is black metal, and the vocals need a little growl, but a little is enough. Korn, Kreator, and Mastodon are all examples of bands that integrate growling in their vocals that add some teeth to their songs, and let you know that they’re serious, but having too much growl diminishes that effect. Honestly, I hate having to look up lyrics just too see what the heck the vocalist is singing.
The lack of the bass’s presence. It is almost nonexistent, and I’m pretty sure it’s the sound mixing of the album so I wish that had been done better. Like a rug tying a room together, the bass does that with any band.
In my efforts of branching out and discovering new bands, I stumbled upon Wormwood’s Ghostlands and came away impressed. I will definitely be on the lookout for new material from Wormwood. Are there any bands that you’d recommend me check out? If so, comment below, and I’ll do some research!
I’m going to give Ghostlands: Wounds from a Bleeding Earth a 72%.