Blackened melodies expand with fiery grace and keyboards swell with malevolent doom, only to be cruelly cast aside by cold, merciless slams when the moment is right. Worm Shepherd play a form of blackened deathcore that combines symphonic black metal with thunderous slams and scathing technicality. The effect is as if a band like Dimmu Borgir has been merged with a band like Distant or Bound in Fear.
The black metal components of In the Wake ov Sòl are blatant and sharp. This isn’t a subtle blending of genres; when Worm Shepherd channel black metal, they really go for it, and when their collective hands turn to deathcore, they bring the heaviness with just as much conviction and skill. The symphonic approach is well-developed too, falling short of ostentation and instead striking the right tone with menacing mood and dark atmosphere. I also like that while the deathcore aspects are undeniably a filthy, ugly form of deathcore, the blackened parts of the band’s sound visit melodic, atmospheric, and symphonic waters.
All of the band are very proficient at their roles, but I have to say that, as mentioned above, I do like how they use their keyboards. Atmospheric and dark, they provide a layer of grim colour for the rest of the music to operate within. The drums are especially notable for their technical playing and expressive fills too. I should also note that the band’s singer is a very talented vocalist, that’s for sure. Multiple types of screams and growls all find a home with his voice, and I love how he manages to avoid sounding like a generic deathcore vocalist.
If you are in the market for a blend of sinister blackened atmosphere and crushing deathcore heaviness, then look no further than In the Wake ov Sòl. As I recently said in my Mental Cruelty review, blackened deathcore is not an easy style to pull off convincingly. Have Worm Shepherd achieved it here? Absolutely.