The other night, I went to see some friends’ band play live, and about halfway through their set, I was super excited over how much they’ve progressed over the past year or so. That’s the goal, right? To get better and continue to smooth the rough edges. I know it’s not kvlt tr00 to be happy when a band keeps working on their craft and sounding better by the day, but it’s actually pretty exciting.
That brings me to “Servants of the Countercosmos,” the second record from UK death unit Wode, and one I was really surprised to see so soon considering their self-titled debut just landed in our laps 13 months ago. But here it is, a new slab of six songs that show such ridiculous improvement in the band, it’s scary. Let me be clear, though: Their debut was an awesome record. It’s still in regular rotation in the MMM offices (you know, my tiny office filled with toys), so having a new serving made me happy before I even heard it. Then I unleashed this beast and was blown the fuck away. The level of play, the savagery, and the songwriting are huge steps up, and this could signal that these guys are ready to take the death metal underground throne sooner rather than later. The band—guitarist/vocalist M.C., guitarist K.S., bassist E.T., drummer T.H.—are channeled and furious on this record, with sharper teeth and an even greater thirst for blood than before.
“Crypt of Creation” gets things going with noise sweltering before guitars begin to chime, and a steady, fluid stream of death metal fury comes barreling through. Raspy growls mix with powerful melodies, while the guitars chug away hard, and a dose of speed crushes everything. The track hits the gas pedal again, as the track goes out in a crushing fit. “Celestial Dagger” has noise rushing in and a sludgy melody that thickens the pot. The riffs then kick into as rock-n-roll high gear, putting them in Entombed territory, and then the intensity gets nastier and bloodier. The track then erupts and begins to rip worlds apart, while the pace charges, the vocals gurgle, and everything comes to a smothering end. “Temple Internment” has a thrashy riffs that just devastates, while animalistic growls and an obliterating tempo begin to take care of business. Insane riffs arrive, while the blood starts to boil, and the track comes to a savage finish.
The title track just goes off, with the vocals unfurling and the bass massively rollicking beneath the chaos. “The sands of time shifting,” is wailed while the guitars rule and the track dissolves into a hammering assault. “Chaosspell” is the longest track at 9:14, dizzying at the beginning before melting into a strange liquid and flowing over the body of the song. The song feels like a heavy thunderstorm, as muscular melodies work into the mix, ruling until the body goes cold. The pace rains down hammers, chewing the muscle of everything in its wake, and as the song goes on, it just keeps getting more insane. In a great way. The soloing is furious and incredibly engaging, while the vocals charge back in and leave welts, with the song going from an insane assault into a lovely, unnerving wave of acoustics that move into the final song, the instrumental “Undoing.” This final 2:09 piece is the comedown, the music you’d hear while lying wounded, watching the land burn away, knowing there is no way you can battle any longer but are still conscious enough the absorb the pain.
Wode’s path to death metal greatness is well under way, and “Servants of the Countercosmos” is an impressive step toward their quest for domination. The punishment and fire on this record are overwhelming, and the journey that is this record is devastating, but also captivating. We’re witnessing a future death metal giant grow before our eyes and ears, and before long, they might be the masters.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Wodecult/
To buy the album, go here: http://avantgardemusic.bigcartel.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.avantgardemusic.com/