Wormlust - The Feral Wisdom
Demonhood Productions
Ambient Black Metal
4 songs (38:12)
Release year: 2013
Official, Demonhood Productions
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

The début full-length from Wormlust, originally from Reykjavik but now residing in London, is a treat for fans of atmospheric black metal. As woozily psychedelic as you'd expect from that artwork, but ridiculously dark and foreboding, somewhere between older Blut Aus Nord and Lurker of Chalice in effect. The first track Sex Augu Tólf Stjörnur moves between psychedelic ambience and prog-tinged modern black metal, riffs curving back on themselves and vocals a monstrously bleak choking scream that grows more demented and harrowing the longer you listen – it's like Xasthur given a kick in the rear and locked in a cellar, both furious and terrified. Which is a good effect for a black metal album to have, I suppose; certainly, the atmospheric difference between this and the new Satyricon album, also reviewed this week, is enormous.

I suspect that as they're only on their initial full-length, Wormlust has even better releases to come in the future, although that's not to distract from how good The Feral Wisdom is. Ravenous in tone yet without detracting from the skilfulness and technicality, the two men - multi-instrumentalist H.V. Lyngdal joined by drummer Bjarni Einarsson (of Slidhr amongst others) - have created a genuinely multifaceted album here. The four tracks are lengthy, from six to eleven minutes, moving from ambience to blasting insanity smoothly yet ensuring that the full atmospheric value of each makes itself known. Highlights are frequent; the spooky ambience of Á Altari Meistarans especially works well with its throaty whispers. Yet it's when Wormlust are at their heaviest that The Feral Wisdom truly just works, chaotic blasting darkness that the interposed ambient moments only make darker and more effective – Djöflasýra especially mixes the two together expertly.

Give it a couple of listens and the intelligence that lurks at the heart of The Feral Wisdom becomes more apparent. The opening is truly dark; yet the final piece Iður úti has just enough twisted melody in it to seem like a route out of the darkness has opened, a way of hope and enlightenment. These hopes are dashed as the music gets madder and ends suddenly, your escape cut off. When all is said and done, The Feral Wisdom is closer to traditional black metal at its most atmospheric than that psychedelic artwork would suggest, yet there's enough going on beneath the skin here to make this album an altogether different sort of beast. Capable of turning in all sorts of directions yet remaining purist and with an atmospheric pounding like few other, black metal fans should be well aware of Wormlust's bleak spells.

Killing Songs :
Sex Augu Tólf Stjörnur, Djöflasýra, Iður úti
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Wormlust that we have reviewed:
Wormlust - Svarthol reviewed by Charles and quoted no quote
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