Wrong – Pessimistic Outcomes (XTreem Music)

Thursday, 1st May 2014
Rating: 7/10

The odd, unexpected product of two Spaniards, one of which mans the vocal spot in the most-excellent Wormed (J.L. Rey), Wrong is a black metal project subsisting on the subgenre norms that in this context, sound both plastic, and ghastly. Odd combo indeed. The album cover – lord knows how it reflects “pessimistic outcomes” – is one thing, but the drugged out, frazzled guitar riffs are barely a shout from Leviathan’s most twisted works.  In essence, Pessimistic Outcomes doesn’t serve much purpose other than to reflect how unpleasant black metal can be when its primary constituents don’t meander in the basement with a four-track, but have an obvious aversion to melody.

Rey, who goes under the name “Phlegeton” in Wormed, handles the drum spot in addition to his multi-tiered vocals. Whereas in Wormed he’s of the maniacal sort, in Wrong, he’s channeling dungeon vocals, as in, he’s usually gussied up with effects or chants. Such tactics might not cast this particular style as unique, but they’re fitting for music that never wraps its head around one or two central ideas per song. Rather, freelancing, extended cuts like “His Hatred Breathes,” the title track, and voluminous “Dragging My Soul Until the Sunset” haul in, at various points, keyboard droplets, odd doses of atmosphere, and dis-harmonious guitar riffing that piggybacks from the various USBM bands that were hot to trot in the early 00’s.

There’s been no shortage of unconventional, twisted black metal to get one’s motor running in the first quarter of 2014, so Wrong may be able to slot themselves in with the more the creative bands of the sort. But, Pessimistic Outcomes is unforgiving – and not in a good way. This stuff is just too far-reaching, thus lacking the charm and persuasion to be anything more than an oddly-named band, with an odd cover, and odd album title. Odd.

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