Here we have Black Metal that manages to retain a raw and nasty demeanour while simultaneously offering enough melodic aspects to be enticingly emotive. It’s not overly melodic, but there’s enough colour and texture through the sinister melodies to add another dimension.
The Ladder also features plenty of atmospheric and thoughtful sections that could probably be considered Post-Black Metal. These parts enhance the blackened delivery of the rest of the album and show that this is music that’s unafraid of stretching itself.
In fact, having enjoyed previous releases by Palace of Worms, this latest one strikes me as the most experimental regarding the atmospheric and melodic influences, with more of both being apparent on The Ladder than his other work. This could have backfired, but I feel it has paid off and The Ladder is probably his all-round strongest release I’d say.
We also get a few decent, chunky riffs to go alongside all of the above. Overall the playing on this release is of a suitably high standard and diverse enough to keep the listener’s interest. The same can be said of the songwriting; these songs do quite a few different things and all contribute to the darkened mood of the album as a whole.
Screamed and growled vocals form the main part of the singer’s delivery, both performed well. His voice seems to lurk in the comforting embrace of the guitars, before just breaking the surface with enough aggression to warrant such an intrusion. Cleans are used sparingly, most notably on Wreathe, providing a sombre, mournful accompaniment to the music.
I’d advise you to check this one out and give it a listen, as the dark delights on offer here might just tempt you.
Great album art, also.