Russia is not particularly known for having a vibrant black metal scene, but from Saint-Petersburg emerges a string of young post-black metal bands holding up the banner for beautiful nihilism and melodic violence. TRNA and Show Me A Dinosaur have been capturing hearts and minds all over the world, and this year they are joined by WOWOD who are self-releasing their debut album NUTRO. However, where the aforementioned bands are mostly influenced by shoegaze and post-rock, our youngest scion looks back to the heydays of UK hardcore punk bands like Discharge and The Varukers.
RELEASE DATE: 19 January 2018 LABEL: Self-released
WOWOD are no strangers to the Russian heavy music scene as the line up consists of members from both Antethic and GENA (whom we both covered in our doomgaze feature). Gone however are the brooding dreaminess of Slow Day or the uplifting undertones of Ghost Shirt Society, which have made place for screamed vocals and relentless high-tempo riffing. What WOWOD have retained however is an undeniable knack for atmosphere and sonic richness, which is instrumental in bringing the two genres of post-black metal and hardcore punk together into a dubious but happy marriage.
Even though blast beats are known to originate in the hardcore punk scenes of the 80s and 90s, the technique is actually used in a fashion that is more related to black metal. Relentless hits on bass and snare drum are accompanied by vicious tremolo picking, while the hardcore punk influences are mostly derived from the distinct use of d-beats, prominently heard during songs such as “Chvzhoe Nutro.” Together with the deep grunts and atmospheric, guitar-driven passages, WOWOD move away from the more prevalent sound of blackened hardcore and crust bands, into the realm of post-metal.
The absolute pleasure of this record is that WOWOD perform the post-metal trick very well. Similarities with the work of Obscure Sphinx and Cult of Luna are undeniable, but nevertheless the 31 minute-long NUTRO goes by leaving a breath of fresh air in its wake. The album length makes for a handsome format—it’s a tad on the short side, but in combination with a satisfyingly punchy sound, it leaves the listener craving for more. The album is very well produced, with songs containing ample depth, especially during the slower parts.
Even though nowadays black metal and hardcore punk have strayed far from their original templates, WOWOD have shown that with the right attitude and determination the two can be merged into a convincing whole. NUTRO effortlessly shifts between genres and shows a maturity that is rare for emerging post-black metal bands. Highly recommended for fans of heavy music.
WATCH | WOWOD – V NAS NET LVBVI [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
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