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In 2010 Wan had a grim black metal album called “Wolves of the North,” a headbanging, metal-on-metal-to-the-bone primal recording. Now they have a second title out to reaffirm their loyalty as defenders of the old metal standard. If anything, one thing is even clearer now: Wan is more in-your-face and horrid. Whereas before Wan gave the impression of early 90s black metal totalitarians, now Wan is slimier, dirtier.
These roughnecks seek metalheads into classic Motorhead and Venom, Hellhammer and 80s Bathory, the punk of The Exploited and Discharge, the gutter metal of Autopsy, and of course, early 90s black metal from Norway and Sweden. Whether it’s 80s thrash or old death metal or ugly black metal, Wan searches for the audience with certain curmudgeon qualities, not necessarily the easy-going, not the go-the-flow, not the I-find-something-positive-in-every-genre attitude. Wan does not play nice. Wan does not get along with “everybody.” I am confident that if the jukebox at the bar plays In Flames or Killswitch Engage, these curmudgeons will pick up the jukebox and throw it out the window. When they walk the streets they make angry faces when they see people wearing Trivium shirts. They are cantankerous petulants. They’ll show you when you meet them.
Enjoy the filth. It’s an album title and an announcement for those that like their metal this way, rough around the edges, upfront, direct; roughneck metal, or “pentagram rockers,” as the band says. Wan’s music is incapable of leaving the gutter; it cannot, must not come to the light of respectability. Let it be mocked and dismissed. Let it be called garbage. Wan relishes all that. Wan resides in the places where the stink is so bad as to keep away those without the desire for this type of metal. Wan rumbles between slime-covered crust punk, cave black metal and obnoxious dumpster thrash, with a purposeful dirty 80s sound that is not far from early Venom, but definitely not as garage as the homemade Hellhammer and Death demos. This album is no accident, this music is not the result of “youthful ignorance,” and they are not ashamed or embarrassed of their music.This is not going to get more “sophisticated” in the future, either. They want it like this. Maybe you do, too?
written originally for Metal Bulletin Zine www.metalbulletin.blogspot.com
WAN do not fuck about. This is the Swedes 2nd album after 2010’s ‘Wolves of the North’, and damn will it erode your ear drums. In simple terms, what we have here is just over 30 minutes of noisy prototypical black metal. There is only simple terms when it comes to WAN to be fair, as this is just about as primal as it gets.
Bass, Treble, Gain.. everything has been cranked to eleven, with guitar strings clawed at so hard that they’re shredding fingers, amps barely being held in physical form, shattered speakers clinging to the cabinets by tape and chewing gum, and drums which actually sound bruised and beaten from years of not only regular battering, but also constant dousing in vomit, fag ash, drool and phlegm. If these instruments were children, Esther Rantzen would be all over their asses.
So, recalling the early days of Venom, Sodom, Sarcofago, Von, Bathory and just about any of the other early days founding fathers is the flavour of the month in WAN’s world, and who can blame them when they make such an unholy racket. I recommend listening at high volume on headphones for full noise induced temporary hearing loss effect. When they’re not blasting the shit out of their instruments, growling about pentagrams, hell and satan, they’re rocking shit up… growling about pentagrams hell and satan. It’s one of those win win situations.
Want to know exactly how old school WAN are? They still use Myspace as their main web presence. Check ‘em out if this sort of thing is your bag.
Originally written for www.avenoctum.com
Carnal Records is the label that has released Wan’s latest effort entitled “Enjoy the filth”. An extremely dirty, grungy, raw sounding black/death/thrash effort that grabs you by the neck and demands that you, indeed, “Enjoy the Filth”. Everything presented here has been thought about and done a million times over, but what makes this cd awesome is the nostalgic feel and the 100 percent nod to the traditional style of old school type metal.
From what I can gather there are no copycat riffs here but the band is highly influenced by bands such as: Celtic Frost, Warhammer, Hellhammer, Darkthrone, Venom, Rabid and old Slayer. Edgy riffs combined with elements from these bands of influence make for a rather enjoyable listen. There is not really a whole lot to say about the music except that it is played in the traditional style the way the aforementioned bands played it back in the day. The vocals are a raspy, throaty type vocal that fits with the music really well and is where, I would say, the death/thrash influence comes in to play. What makes this cd really enjoyable is the production and overall feel.
To me, it seems like this cd is a little under produced. But, this does not hinder the album in the slightest. In fact in enhances the overall feel. In many ways this sounds like a demo rehearsal recorded in a home studio. Yes, there are elements of production here, but I think the way this came out is absolutely perfect. If you want the maximum effect for an album like this you do not want to over produce it because it will sound too “polished”. In fact, under producing it would have a more desired effect when all is said and done. I don’t know if this is what the band had in mind or if it was accident. But the overall feel of this album is enhanced 10 fold by the dirty, gritty, cold feel of the production or the lack thereof.
This cd is my first introduction to the band, and while, at first, I wasn’t too impressed by it; it has quickly grown on me as I know appreciate it for what it is. A horrific, ungodly trip down memory lane to when metal was about metal, and about spikes and leather. Not to mention the sheer brutality that that era introduced us to. That era will be duplicated but it will never be equaled, however, Wan come pretty damn close.
It definitely doesn’t take a genius to write and create songs of this nature, but it is clear that Wan are well within their comfort zone and seemingly have no need to conform to the atrocities that some dare to call metal nowdays. I will admit I like a little variation in my extreme metal but there are times when I want the old school sound and feel. And in the current state of metal and in this genre in particular it is clear that Wan are near if not at the top of the food chain. By the end of listening to this cd I totally understand what they meant when they titled this album “Enjoy the Filth”