Lately, the British death metal scene has been focused on more abstract, atonal and cavernous-sounding death metal (as influenced by bands like U.S. DM legends Incantation and Autopsy), as opposed to sonorous Scandinavian-influenced blackened death metal (say that ten times fast). While British bands like Grave Miasma, Cruciamentum and Vacivus have been all the rage (and deservedly so), bands influenced by Swedish bands like Dissection, Necrophobic and Watain have been overshadowed by a grimier sort of sound. Fortunately, thanks to Wode’s new masterpiece, Burn in Many Mirrors, we’re once again reminded that melodic blackened death metal is alive and well in the U.K!
In old English the word wode translates to raging, enraged, insane, senseless, or blasphemous – and it’s an appropriate moniker for these Brits. Their six-song, 39-minute extreme metal assault could tear a hole in the fabric of reality with its scythe-like precision. It’s an epic and intense album with many memorable riffs, songs and expertly executed metallic intensity. Their last LP, Servants of Countercosmos was a fine example of a band that understood the complex trappings of Scandinavian black metal and was a touch more brutal and chaotic. On Burn in Many Mirrors, Wode temper their insanity just a tad and prove that they are here for the long haul.
Vocalist Michael Czerwoniuk (who is also the bassist in awesome UK thrash-meets-NWOBHM band, Aggressive Perfector) has a strong grasp on how to vary his vocal roars – and has the same commanding presence as Dissection’s Jon Nodveit – and the other members, D. Shaw on guitar and backing vocals, T. Horrocks on drums, guitar and keyboards and E. Troup on bass, are all killer musicians with loads of talent. Most importantly, this quartet is able to channel the intense spirit of their Scandinavian progenitors while maintaining their own fresh take on the genre.
Even if Wode aren’t blazing the most novel path in the melodic death metal genre, they have such a strong command of the style and song craft that they have unleashed one of the best blackened death metal albums of 2021. You’d do well to check out their first two LP’s which are available on Bandcamp for a name-your-price download. 9/10
Wode‘s Burn In Many Mirrors was released on April 2nd, 2021 via 20 Buck Spin.