Review 2229 : Wormwood – The Star – English

End of the trilogy for Wormwood.

The Swedish band composed of Nine (vocals, Withershin), Tobias Rydsheim (guitar/keyboards/vocals), Jerry Engström (guitar, Riket, Withershin), Oscar Tornborg (bass, Withershin) and Tatu Kerttula (drums, Katharos) continue the trilogy that began with their two previous albums with The Star, their fourth album out on Black Lodge Records, celebrating their tenth anniversary.

Stjärnfall immediately revives that icy melodic touch we abandoned three years ago, wrapping us once again in its cocoon of haunting sounds, soon complemented by growls. We quickly realize the strong contrast between the driving Pagan-influenced parts and the aggressiveness of the Black Metal sound, all the while letting ourselves get caught up in the long composition, which still offers us a moment to breathe before we survey the final riffs and their choruses to join A Distant Glow and its softer touch. Clean vocals confirm this first impression, but saturation is never far away and it doesn’t take long for it to regain the upper hand while remaining anchored in a soothing quietude that takes on a certain darkness with Liminal, the next track. The vocal parts confirm the return of aggression, even if it remains measured and framed by an effective rhythmic and its regular accelerations, while the airy break advocates the opposite by infusing a refreshing Post-Rock vibe to join Galactic Blood and its soaring modern touches that give a rather different personality to raw Black Metal. Some elements remain tinged with sharp Old School influences, but the addition of keyboards manages to give them a whole new flavor, as do the motivating drums of Thousand Doorless Rooms, which perfectly fit the melancholic shadow that hangs over the track, but which won’t stop the waves of fury from breaking over us at full speed. The more moderate moments still captivate us with their delicacy, but the darkness envelops us again with Suffer Existence, which initially develops a harmonious sound, but is sure to catch fire under the orders of the vocalist, while drawing on its Folk roots, sometimes even more playful. Ro brings the album to a close with ten magnificent minutes of steamy simplicity, clean vocals, heady leads and heavy riffs, as well as a windy wave-sounding outro.

Wormwood have come full circle, with a new album much brighter than their previous ones. The Star doesn’t forget its furious Black Metal roots, but exploits them differently and builds unforgettable melodies that already sound like a dark lament.


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