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Wolvserpent > Blood Seed > Reviews > NausikaDalazBlindaz
Wolvserpent - Blood Seed

Mini-album of melancholy chamber music doom metal - 73%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, September 6th, 2012

I first came across Blake Green, one of the two members of Wolvserpent, through his Aelter double CD set which was sent to me for review for the UK zine The Sound Projector. After hearing this compilation which orignally had been released as two vinyl LPs, I was curious to find out more about Green's original band Wolvserpent and here I am with their mini-album "Blood Seed". This recording consists two tracks, "Wolv" and "Serpent" (ha ha) and is similar to the Aelter recordings in general sound and style, the only difference being that Wolvserpent features more metal and less dark ambient chamber music.

"Wolv" is a long slow track of soothing orchestral strings humming away in the background while a dark-toned raindrop guitar melody tiptoes gingerly through the rising accompaniment. The violin strings teeter on the edge of high-pitched hysteria as the piece develops and slow percussion eases into the music with a steady cymbal tap. Raw, slightly blackened metal guitar dives in among the slow thudding drums and the cymbals as the music crescendoes ever onwards. The second half of the track is punctuated by screams that echo in pain and terror behind the droning violin backdrop, the lonely guitar tune and the sinister thump of the drums. Eventually the drums drop out, the guitar dies down and all that remains is the terrible drone that threatens to drive you mad plus yawning guitar feedback beneath the drone.

For a moment, I thought "Serpent" might be a sludge doom piece in the style of early 1990s Earth but the violins start up again. The track quickly acquires the air of a ghost train on a journey into a phantom world, clanking chain in the violin drone, a siren sounding off. A guitar howl sweeps everything including the creepy cold atmosphere away and a jagged metal rhythm barges in and settles down with emphatic crashing cymbals and a screeching vocal. Cold echoes of sighing or shouting voices float through the space behind the banging cymbal and the raw jerky guitar melody. Past the halfway point, the track becomes much more interesting with a faster rhythm and beat and an edgy surging guitar riff loop, and the music finally becomes doomy and glacial in pace. Distant banshee screams and a ghost choir provide much of the track's atmospheric bleakness and three-dimensional quality.

Up to a point the two tracks do a good job in creating a dark, cold and very depressed world of icy atmosphere and sinister abrasive doom metal. Where the music is not effective as it should have been is in the bass: as the tracks progress, the bass should have become more intense, loud and grinding in parts to counter-balance the fragile vocal washes and phantom singing. The second track builds up steadily as the first track does but its resolution near the end seems quite light instead of thunderous and epic. Both tracks could have been celebrations of maleficent Satanic majesty rejoicing in the downfall of humanity but they don't quite reach that exalted state.

Even so, the Wolvserpent duo have an interesting style of drone doom metal, at once abrasive and tough yet almost Gothic / Romantic in the melancholy and dark atmospheres created with the use of strings and other instruments. If they can be persuaded to bulk up the bass guitar on future works and add more improvisation to the music, they will have the makings of a great sound and style.