Wratheon is a new solo project emanating from the US of A. Can we be more specific than that? No, we bloody well can’t. And for good reason too! You see, the artist has decided to surround themselves in a mysterious shroud which is, you know, nice and all but makes this reviewing lark that little bit harder. But, that’s black metal for ya!
However, what Wratheon haven’t shrouded in mystery is their debut release, Black Thrash Mass – 5 tracks of blackened thrash mayhem, that ably balances the raging flames of thrash metal with the bitter cold of black metal’s manic intensity.
Black Thrash Mass comes out of the gates at a fair gallop too with opening track, “In Seance”, pounding you remorselessly from the get-go. With an old school thrash vibe, it’s dare we say it, cheerful. Then the vocals kick in and Wratheon‘s feral bite is fully on display.
With razor sharp riffing and angry, barking vocals marrying well, the second track, “A Fire Burns”, acts as a continuation of the first, keeping the tempo rapid and the vocals gruff. The pace changes a little on the opening to “With Crimson Eyes” but we’re soon back to reaching satisfying breakneck speed. Instrumental, “Life”, breaks up the album nicely by slowing the pace down – for a short while at least – and upping the already elevated mood of the album. “Unescapable Null” closes the album and we’re back to the de rigueur rapid-fire pace and snarling vocal onslaught.
As debut releases go, Black Thrash Mass is a good ‘un, with Wratheon revelling in their grandiose sound. As mentioned, it also makes for a very uplifting album, which may come as a surprise to some. Very much a short sharp shock to the system, you’ll probably find yourself playing it more than once in a sitting…..we certainly did! 8/10