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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