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Earthen Roots - 80%

TheStormIRide, May 2nd, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Wolfspell Records (Limited edition, Digipak)

Nazywają Go Demonem Gór, the debut EP from Poland’s Wolf Omega, comes two years after the band’s first demo, Cult of the Purple Sun, which, unfortunately was only released on cassette in 2014. Perhaps that’s why this duo has gone largely unnoticed in black metal circles. Regardless, the band’s newest offering is available as a limited CD through Polish label Wolfspell Records. The members have both spent time in the black metal bands Lęk and Misterium Nocy, which, like Wolfspell Omega, haven’t generated a huge following yet.

It’s interesting that the band would chose to take their moniker from the lowest ranking and most submissive member of the wolf hierarchy, because Nazywają Go Demonem Gór is certainly not bottom shelf material. Wolf Omega’s sound is rooted that earthen style of black metal that is often tinged with atmospheric histrionics, yet it remains rather raw and aggressive throughout most of the music. Think small bits of Cascadian black metal mixed into a bed of gravelly German black metal a la Horn or Nagelfar. The riffs offer treble-laden bursts of distorted trem picking, weaving a dark tapestry of melodic patterns despite the abrasive tones. The drums offer a solid backdrop of double bass runs and slowed down, double kick tempos, yet, despite the nice handiwork, doesn’t shift the focus away from those riffs. The vocals lie somewhere between a garbled screech and a throaty shout, and are quite high in the mix, taking away just a touch from the majestic riffing.

While everything is rooted in woodsy, open-aired black metal, there is a trace of early Katatonia’s riffing style, offering something a bit more mournful and grandiose than the treble-laden melodies, with the main riff of “I Have My Shelter” showing this. Despite the moments of whimsical introspection, Nazywają Go Demonem Gór is a solid album that stays true to its roots. Certainly not blazing any new trails, Wolf Omega offers a fine homage to earthen black metal. Great riffs and solid drumming carry this album through its playtime and offers more than enough reasons to come back for repeated listens.

Written for The Metal Observer.