2017’s Auburn Rule was a seriously good record. Now that the band have returned, we’re treated to 45 minutes of new material.
The post-metal triad of Neurosis/Cult of Luna/Isis is still a decent starting point for Wren’s sound, but like Auburn Rule before it, there’s so much more to Wren’s music than just that. Here’s a band that have ably developed their own personality within the style already, and Groundswells capitalises on this very well. There seems to be more of a Godflesh influence this time around too.
This is music wreathed in melancholic atmosphere and bleak expressions of emotive content. The band’s heaviness comes with its own form of aggression, one which can be quite brutal, but theirs is an atmospheric aggression, which occasionally drops the harsher tones altogether.
This is an engaging and textured release, offering a compelling take on post-metal heaviness and mood-building. The songs are characterful and manage to blend crushing riffs with distorted feeling, resulting in music that’s more affecting than you might expect. The album benefits from guest musicians too, which flesh out the album’s accomplished sound even further.
Wren’s second album has not disappointed, and their impressive and enjoyable journey continues.