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Continuous raw BM frenzy from start to finish - 70%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, February 5th, 2016

You too would probably be in a frenzy from the high you get sniffing the fragrance of two-week-old witches' corpses, if the insects haven't yet reached them first. From start to finish, this release - the debut for one-piece atmospheric BM project When Woods Make Graves - is a continuous whirling-dervish storm of stuttery blast-beat drumming, constant tremolo guitar steam and heavily distorted vocal rasp. This is incredibly raw and noisy, and angrier than angry to boot, as if coming from a deep volcano source in the centre of Earth that is the mother of all volcanic eruptions and every actual volcano on the surface of the planet is simply the end capillary of a network that begins with the epicentre.

"The Witch Fen" establishes the style and mood of the album and from then on succeeding tracks pile on the rage, the intensity, the bleakness and the feeling that the music will soon explode and leave an unlovely bloody mess between your ears. The vocals are so thick and distorted that they become another element in the overall mix and the entire recording may be considered all-instrumental. It's not always chaotic - there are definite riffs and some melodies but their arrangement seems random. As the album progresses from one track to the next, the overall sound becomes as much steely as raw and distorted, and occasionally the music slows down a bit. Track endings and beginnings may be slower, quieter and more sorrowful than the bulk of the music so at least listeners know where one track ends and the next begins.

There is incredibly powerful and brutal music on display here, and it can be all too much and too intense to take in one go, but some if not most listeners might wish it had all been structured and controlled better than it appears on the recording.