Four years ago, the British black metal stalwarts Wode achieved a higher status in the underground metal scene in Europe. Their sophomore album ‘Servants of the Countercosmos‘ proved that these enthusiasts have much more to offer. And they clearly show no signs to the contrary on their latest 20 Bucks Spin outing ‘Burn In Many Mirrors‘. Returning after a gap of four years the band fires off all the cylinders and tackles the early nineties cult-styled black metal. While the previous album was somewhat melodic, here Wode ensures to explore the classic roots of European black metal. Before going through the contents of the band’s third album, let’s take a look at the lineup which consists of E.T. (bass guitar), T.H. (drums, vocals), M.C. (guitars, vocals) and D. Shaw (guitars).
‘Burn In My Mirrors’ kicks off with ‘Lunar Madness‘ where the riffs expose the influences of blackened thrash metal. In the four years between the sophomore and the third album, Wode managed to push the boundaries by transforming their craft into something powerful and savage. The Manchester-based black metal band have cemented their fierce sound with aggression and fast, atonal riffs. Musically, the newest album tackles the brute force of thrash metal without neglecting the melodies of Swedish black metal. Through potent riffs and tremolo picked-riffs the song transitions from mid-paced tempo where the drums unleash furious attacks.
The overt influences to the likes of Necrophobic and Dissection resonate in the outburst of the scathing riffs. ‘Serpent’s Coil‘ shows the fine execution in the guitar department. Being the most dynamic element, the twin guitars prove the high songwriting abilities of the quartet. Wode blends melodies by showcasing the effect of such dynamics. Considering the fact that two of the band’s members are involved in the U.K. thrash metal band Aggressive Factor, the guitars contribute a great number of thrashing riffs. Many of these solos are derived from N.W.O.B.H.M., serving the needful dynamics. The tremolos are injected into the song texture to shape the musical landscapes.
By boasting a fiery performance, Fire In The Hills‘ veers into a slow tempo with a bold performance of blackened melodies. The latest album is a testament to the band’s prowess. Wode professionally combines the slow black metal riffage before delivering an explosive tempo. Slow chords and tremolo-picked riffs are paired with blast beats. These two elements are focused to shape the songs. However, the album is less atmospheric if one would compare it to the previous effort, taking more of a traditional approach to black metal.
‘Sulphuric Glow‘ is among the stronger cuts that showcase some catchy solos. While it’s all about riffs here Wode is a band that knows how to create intensity. The drums have the ability to shift the dynamics to add some fast-drumming sections. Although blast beats are occasionally utilized, the main focus is laid upon the guitars. The lead guitars and solos are on constant display with the drums flawlessly equal in the formula. ‘Vanish Beneath‘ begins with a slow guitar note, just moments after the amplifying guitars kick off into a more riff-based tempo. The pervaded influences from Swedish black metal are eminent in this album. Overall, there is a Scandinavian feeling to their sound.
There’s definitely no question about the strong impression of the heavy riffs on the listener. The distinctive blend of the blackened riffs is paired with fiery solos and intense percussion. With its groovy guitar segments and hysterical drumming Wode presents the unique sound of early Swedish black metal when bands like Nifelheim, Necrophobic and Dissection conquered the European metal scene. The final track ‘Streams of Rapture (I, II, III)’ is the longest cut and brings something different. The keyboards set an epic mood until the rush of the bulldozing riffs and blast beats takes over.
The menacing tone of the vocalist is layered over an instrumentation of guitars that unleash a massive wall of sound. With a minimal use of keyboards adding another layer to this epic track, what comes to focus is the superb interplay between the melodic guitar, solos and drums. ‘Burn In Many Mirrors‘ is an intense album full of raw and organic composition, applied by a high-quality performance.
Release Date: April 2nd, 2021
Label: 20 Buck Spin
- Lunar Madness
- Serpent’s Coil
- Fire in the Hills
- Sulphuric Glow
- Vanish Beneath
- Streams of Rapture (I, II, III)