Review 503 : Wolvennest – Temple – English

Wolvennest are back for a new ceremony.

Created in 2016 in Belgium, the band is composed of Shazzula (chant/claviers/theremin), Corvus von Burtle (bass/guitar/keyboards, Cult of Erinyes), Michel Kirby (guitar), Marc De Backer (guitar), John Marx (bass), Déhà (drums/keyboards/backing vocals, Imber Luminis, Merda Mundi, Yhdarl, ex-Clouds, ex-Lebenssucht…) and Bram Moerenhout (drums) for Temple, its second album.

It’s hard to precisely describe the band’s music. Based on an experimental Black Metal filled by Ambient, Psychedelic and Doom influences, the band do what they want when they want.
The first song of the album is called Mantra, and it seems to be some kind of gateway to the band’s universe, an introduction to their ritual. The sound is slow, haunting and focuses a lot on captivating mystical tones. Even if it is very long, the track seems to be so short, so heavy and so oppressing that we don’t even feel its length. Wolvennest literally hauls us, and it is the same for Swear to Fire, a passionate and darker song. Lead guitar offers abrasive tones, while the catchy rhythmic mesmerizes us, helped by the singer’s voice. Psychedelic sonorities do their job too, then Alecto is next, with this worrying softness. With a quick vocal sample, bass plays as always an important role in those airy riffs, then piercing leads drive the song. Vocals are back on Incarnation, which creates a wonderful contrast between this soft voice, those raw words and penetrating riffs. A second voice joins the melting, then the rhythmic part moves forward until the song’s climax, which suddenly breaks.
Once again, shadows perk up for All that Black, a strange but heady, haunting, melancholic song that hides an internal rage. The band affixes its own touch thanks to long black and dissonant melodies that are built upon the mixing, then Succubus begins. We find on this composition the deep and sensual voice of King Dude, an exhilarating slowness and piercing tones in the background, as well as an astonishing vocal duo before a strange final part. Disappear suddenly comes to take over our mind, between those dark impenetrable riffs, those voices coming out of nowhere, those mystical influences and this so tempting, so soft darkness which is however so cold and distant. Souffle de Mort, the last song, finally begins. It’s on this track that we understand the band’s ritualistic atmosphere the most. Between dark sonorities, ethnic percussions, unholy psalms in french and disturbing melodies, the composition is clearly not the most accessible, but it is one of the most interesting ones.

Wolvennest’s ritual ended. At first, Temple appears as a long mystical Black Metal album with several influences, a bit complex to approach. But after some listening sessions, the album comes out to be of an unfathomable richness, of an unholy deepness and this melting of tones is as oppressive as wonderful.

95/100

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