On their sophomore release ‘Nightmother‘ the Swedish black metal act Wormlight presents the pinnacle of the blazing melodies in the second wave of black metal that was emphasized on a vast scale by groups such as Unanimated, Noctes and In Aeternum. Formed in 2014 by King Antichrist (drums) and Deafeathered (guitars) the band was joined shortly after by Lator mortis (guitars) and debuted their first EP ‘An Ancient Enemy‘. Wormlight has since witnessed many changes in the lineup. However, the band’s newest album released through Black Lion Records shows definite signs of progression from the first album ‘Wrath of the Wilds‘. With ‘Nightmother‘ the Swedish quartet hasn’t only reached musical cohesiveness, but they have also honed their skills. Clocking at fifty-four minutes of pure blackness and aggression, the nine songs display a fine balance between blistering tremolo-picked riffs and the cold chilling quality of Swedish black metal. The skilled musicians Tiamat Invictuz (vocals), Arktos (bass guitar), Lator mortis (guitars and the remaing founding member focus on the perfect intensification of the instrumental plethora.
The eponymous title track shows the excellent ability of these members to create a pitch-black atmosphere, kicking with straightforward blast beats and intense tremolo riffing. One can only assume that the band is highly inspired by acts such as Dark Funeral, Lord Belial and Setherial. The drums are often played at mid-tempo while the lead guitars are wonderfully layered with dark melodies. Wormlight explores heaviness and aggression without sacrificing the force of velocity, even though the Swedish quartet does not present anything new to the table. Their songs are arranged into a vicious rhythm, with plenty of blast beats and ominous growls. The captivating performance of the dual guitars is full of hooks.
Each track moves along smoothly to deliver enough intensity from the riffing structure to the haunting tremolo lines. The drumming is usually played at furious speed bringing many fierce tempos. At times the vehement pace is subdued by a slower pace and that’s when the music becomes darker. ‘The Whispering Night‘ infuses melody with the tangible effect of the keyboards creating a grim atmosphere. As soon as the third track ‘Blood, Wine and Spirits‘ begins, Wormlight effectively delves into dark emotions.
The powerful grasp of melodies, rhythm and the bass guitar is constantly changing and elevating. Wormlight represents the new generation of Swedish black metal. Needless to say that the band draws inspiration from Norwegian black metal bands like Dimmu Borgir. ‘Hounds of Apophrades‘ provides razor-sharp tremolo-picked riffs while the drums maintain a furious pace. ‘Nightmother‘ relies on the pure creativity of the lead guitar: while riffs are heavily brutal, the melody has that bewitching feel. The vocals of Tiamat Invictuz stir up the tempo. His vocals are varying from piercing sharp growls to death metal growls.
The guitar performance is top-notch and brings vibrant melodies to the sophomore. Evoking nostalgia from the late nineties black metal, the band has brought a perfect mixture of styles. While the haunting melodies and aggression could make your heart freeze from the intensity, a track such as ‘Voidspawn‘ feels like it emerged from the fuming haze of hell. ‘Fateweaver‘ unleashes bombastic symphonies of the heydays under unrelenting speed and pompous lead guitars. Storming gallops of heavy riffs and vibrant guitar melodies culminate with a high level of musicianship.
Merging the modern aesthetics of black metal, the music builds on the conceptual themes of dark fairytales. Hence, the band combines these wonderful melodic textures. There are some notable hints from the vocals that remind me of symphonic black metal bands. ‘The Deadlight Descent‘ is another excellent track strongly led by sheer melodic flamboyance. The final track ‘By Empty Cradles‘ illustrates a sense of aptitude where they exploit the faculty of the formula, infusing the mid-tempo moments with lush symphonic keyboard touches while still keeping the music dark and aggressive.
‘Nightmother‘ is a concept album that establishes a high intent from these Swedish musicians. This comes as a high recommendation for fans of Dimmu Borgir and Dark Funeral.
Release Date: May 7th, 2021
Label: Black Lion Records
- The Whispering Night
- Blood, Wine And Spirits
- Hounds of Apophrades
- Aeon of the Wolves
- The Deadlight Descent
- By Empty Cradles