Yes, it’s that time of year again! 2021 gave us some very, very good metal, and I feel honoured to have been able to have listened to as much of it as I have done. There are some notable absences, (for me at least), from the below list, but there’s just not enough time or space for everything, dammit!
2020 was a very blackened year for me; I listened to a lot of black metal, and the list for that year reflected that. At the start of 2021 I decided I’d consciously try to ensure I cast my net a bit wider again, reconnecting more deeply with some of many other styles of metal that I enjoy. 2021’s list reflects this. However, I’ve still ended up with much more of a black metal presence in the list than I was initially expecting. What can I say? I’m a sucker for all of the myriad blackened flavours of the style. However, there’s also a lot of other stuff here that I hope you’ll dig into and enjoy too. I felt that there was a notable absence of grindcore in 2021, as well as some of the more extreme styles of doom. What do you think?
I hope you enjoy perusing some of my favourite records from this year, and I hope you find something new to tickle your fancy. What’s your number one this year? Continue reading “Wonderbox Metal End of Year List – Best Metal of 2021”
While August was a slower month than some others have been this year for first class metal albums, it was still home to more than enough top releases to warrant this list. Continue reading “Monthly Overview – the Best of August 2021”
This is the third album from Swedish black metallers Wormwood.
This is Swedish melodic black metal that exists within a post-black metal framework, with the latter allowing the former a broader range than it usually benefits from. Wormwood’s music has an epic streak, an atmospheric proclivity, and a good grasp of emotion and depth. Arkivet is a mix of the classic and the contemporary, and the band have balanced these influences very well to produce an evocative and compelling album. Continue reading “Wormwood – Arkivet (Review)”
This is the début album of Wormwood who are a Sludge band from the US.
Wormwood play abraisive and caustic Sludge that eats away like acid and is every bit as disfiguring.
The songs aren’t long but they don’t need much exposure to be proven toxic.
Heavy and covered in contagious filth, Wormwood are like the bastard offspring of Today is the Day, Rabies Caste, Khanate and Eyehategod.
It’s ugly, crushing music that’s no good for your health and yet is strangely addictive regardless. The songs infect with their virulent strand of aural disease and you find yourself thinking of them when you least expect, usually when the night is in full swing and the negative thoughts are swirling. Wormwood is the soundtrack to hopelessness and woe.
The songs are surprisingly catchy and their relatively simplistic approach of groove-based, heavy Sludge is tried and tested yet by no means less effective because of it. Eyehategod may have originally wrote the book but bands like Wormwood keep adding pages.
Wormwood lack Eyehategod’s Southern tinge of course, and theirs is a sound that shares aspects of Today is the Day and Rabies Caste in particular, as mentioned above.
A warm, yet musty, analogue sound coats all of the songs like a soft, ripe, fleshy exterior. It sounds good.
At only 18 minutes in length this is a release that doesn’t outstay its welcome; one to definitely keep returning to.