PICK OF THE WEEK: Wolvserpent stretch their cosmic chaos on expansive EP ‘Aporia:Kala:Ananta’

WolvserpentCreativity and reimagining metal have kept the genre vital and alive. Yeah, there are those people who want everything played a certain way and generally reject anything that isn’t adhering to a formula. But if everyone played by the same rules, we wouldn’t have creative advancements, and everyone would be playing the same thing.

Credit bands that are doing ambitious, daring things on the outer edges, such as Boise, Idaho, duo Wolvserpent. While not metal in the classic sense, this band certainly has shown a heaviness and darkness that warrants their inclusion in any discussion surrounding the style’s most interesting artists. Ever since taking on this moniker in 2010 (they went under the name Pussygutt for five years before that), this band has taken parts of doom, drone, black metal, and death metal and melded them with classic strings, otherworldly ambiance, and haunting atmosphere. Their tracks come off more like true compositions rather than standard metal tracks, and as they’ve grown, they’ve become more immersive and challenging as artists. They’re a personal favorite (they’re one of the highlights of 2014’s Gilead Fest), and their new EP “Aporia:Kala:Ananta” was a highly anticipated one for me.

Wolvserpent coverThat effort has arrived, and it contains one 40-minute track that demands your undivided, uninterrupted attention, and chances are they won’t have to beg for it. From moment one all the way up to the breath-taking conclusion, guitarist/vocalist Blake Green and drummer/violinist Brittany McConnell build the picture, stitching the track piece by piece and taking you on a ride that hits emotional highs and guttural lows. If you liked what they accomplished on their excellent 2013 album “Perigaea Antahkarana,” be prepared to enter the next level with this amazing band.

The track, which shares the title with the album, has a serene, slowly building first half, with more of the woodsy orchestral tones taking over, making it feel like you’re walking through a cosmic marsh. The violin cuts through and establishes a strong center point, while other colors are filled in around it. As the trail moves on, elements are added to the mix, from the drumming, to hushed growls that roll underneath the mire, to creaky noises splattering. Waves crash and solemn melodies arrive, as noises swirl and, finally, hell truly arrives.

Slow-driving doom begins to crush you, as dark clouds crowd the airspace, monstrous roars smash at the walls, and a dizzying pace sets in. There are some black metal-style melodies that stretch over the piece, drizzling down darkness while noise and drone hovers. Deliberate pounding thrashes away, while melodies begin to swell, and sounds keep charging and sprinkling as the fog gets ever thicker. A looping guitar line spirals through the midsection, surviving a gargantuan assault of drone fire, stretching its way all the way to the end, where the song seems to dissipate into the air. When the track is over, your lungs should be full of air, and your mind buzzing and pulsating after what you’ve just experienced.

Wolvserpent remain one of metal’s finest innovators and gutsy dreamers, and their work on “Aporia:Kala:Ananta” is another step forward for this gifted duo. They continue to define what’s possible in metal and heavy music, and their magical, haunting stratosphere is one in which to get lost and never want to return. This EP is an excellent chance to let go, drift off into the unknown, and sink into a journey unlike anything else you’ll get in metal or any other style of music.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/wolvserpent

To buy the album, go here: https://store.relapse.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://relapse.com/