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Original and disturbing - 95%

sysyphis, March 13th, 2008

Maybe it was the time of night when I was listening to this for the fourth spin. Maybe it was the somber mood I was in, but at that moment in time this album was making a big impression on me. Wolfmangler are truly avant garde. The musical make up of the band is 3 bass players, a drummer, flutist, a trombone blower and various other enhancements like basson etc.

The sound is really hard to describe with mere words but I will try as best as I can. Imagine one of those old german expressionistic silent films like Nosferatu and this is your perfect soundtrack. The songs all sound similar but that is a good thing in that they seem like one long piece. The bassists gel nicely together for a low end rumble that when complemented by the bassoon and trombone make this some of the most disturbed music I have ever heard. The nuances and methods that were used to construct this beast make Khanate sound like Celine Dion.

The pace of the music is agonizingly slow. Electric bass and tribal like drums intertwine with somber flute that leaves a bitter taste due to lack of major key melody. It sounds like this might be free form, but the pieces seem to be constructed with care and to these ears there is little improvisation. There is a notation in the booklet that says it was recorded live so I could be way off base here, however that is the mark of a good record, a record that has emotion and fools the listener.

I too wondered what genre this would fit in and was suprised to see it listed on this site. But it is metal. It contains metals spirit of rebellion and unease. This is heavy stuff. I was actually freaked out one night about 3 am listening to this. Song titles can't be beat when they are as cool as "Dirge for a Viking Asshole" and "Rise up Warriors". The artwork is outstanding. Nice pencil work that fits the music perfectly.

I used to think Arcturus and Ulver pushed boundaries. This band destroys boundaries. Amen