Wrvth – Wrvth (Unique Leader)

Sunday, 7th June 2015
Rating: 9/10

Last year Fallujah set the benchmark for atmospheric death metal with The Flesh Prevails. This year, that title is looking to go to a different Unique Leader band – Wrvth. Formerly Wrath of Vesuvius, Wrvth takes their technical death metal core and tries their hand at providing some unique twists and turns throughout their self-titled release.

Exploring technically-driven death metal through a more emotive and atmospheric approach, Wrvth often takes the road less traveled. While a definite technical death metal structure can be identified through wild riff flourishes and furious blasts, there’s a more exploratory side to the band that gets just as much time in the mix. This is where variety really comes in, with some songs pushing the post-metal envelope, others settling for a murky and claustrophobic atmosphere (the album’s cover represents this well), occasional progressive structures, and a saxophone even makes itself heard. The most impressive part of this is how smoothly it all gels together. Moments of pure chaos instantly give way to haunting beauty and vice versa. Check out the gorgeously chilling opening to “Forlorn” that builds into a post-metal-ish melody and then spirals its way into a bit of blasting over the top of a melodic lead. On the other hand, frantic riffs barrage the listener in “Ongoing Dissension” until a memorable solo breaks the madness. Yet some songs, like “Into Bloom” take the best of both worlds and splice them together seamlessly.

It’s nice to see some innovation within the technical death metal genre. A genre that is frequently fueled by sterility and/or clinical productions, Wrvth comes as a breath of fresh air. The death metal formula is given a chance to really let loose with these enhancements, showcasing that there can be emotion within these complex riffs if you provide a jumping off point. Wrvth can be bold and visceral, all while providing depth and feelings. A death metal album with genuine feeling; how often do you hear about that? Clearly, an album worth investigating.

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