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In the Land of Fairy Tales and Stories - 75%

Twisted_Psychology, December 13th, 2019

Sordid Songs for a Cold Grey Sun, the first EP released by Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf after two full-length albums, begins with a fascinating cover of Black Sabbath’s “Wheels of Confusion.” But while the original recording was the entrance to a psychedelic haze, the version here reminds me more of The Cure’s “Plainsong” in execution. The riff set has mutated into a claustrophobic yet ethereal drone that sets up a detached vocal delivery. At the very least, it sets the tone for this EP quite nicely.

From there, the other three songs live up to the experimental nature that Dyerwulf established on the albums proper. “The Graveless Soul” puts in a downright jolly chug that thankfully doesn’t wear out its welcome, contrasting the fuzzy bass ambience of “Hollow Heart.” The latter track probably could’ve been a bit shorter, but it isn’t too intrusive and flows smoothly into the appropriately gloomy “Sad Stormy Sunday.”

Through it all, the duo is tighter and more expressive than they were previously. The bass puts in a much broader dynamic range, exercising tinny abrasion on the heavier tracks and calmer textures toward the softer segments. The drums reflect this in turn; the beats don’t get too aggressive, but the jazzy flourish on “Sad Stormy Sunday” is especially enjoyable. I must say the vocals still feel a little flat at times, but they stay pretty focused and never get grating.

Overall, Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf shows considerable improvement on this EP. While the shorter format arguably allows a more manageable environment for the group’s quirky tendencies, the songs presented are better constructed, and the musicianship is more coherent than it had been before. It is nice to see the group getting closer to achieving the potential of their unique approach to doom. I hope they can keep up this consistency for the next full-length that is on the horizon.

“Wheels of Confusion”
“Sad Stormy Sunday”

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