REVIEW: Wraiths S/T EP
Picture yourself waking up in a dark, festering tomb. Pale flickers emanating from 5 candles prepared evenly in a perfect circle around you. Shadows play on the aged stone walls, the stench of decay filling your lungs becoming unbearable. Out of the gloom the resonance of a weightless guitar plucking foreboding death throes emerges, and you notice 4 ominous figures materializing from the black. Wraiths.
If at this moment your checking your iPhone for Bruce Campbell’s snapchat, or at least speaking in tongues to siri, then this is the band for you!
Self-christened hell metal servants of the nether realm, these guys have torched out a distinctive hybrid genre path for themselves. Using the tried and tested trudging sludge of new school hardcore, the post-apocalyptic ruin of doom lead by malicious incantations of Satan akin to black metal.
Now lets face it, there’s good satanic metal and there’s bad satanic metal, because to be honest unless your Papa Emeritus II or King Diamond half the time it becomes a gimmick if its not done properly. Wraiths for me have just the right balance of severity and tongue in-cheek lightheartedness that comes with the territory, that is unless it’s a serious life choice and you’re willing to head down to the local parish with a box of matches.
Wraiths EP manages to encompass all of this in an appealing equilibrium of the occult and the downright dirty two-stepping, face stomping mess of bands such as Harm’s Way and Brutality Will Prevail. The real question is: how do you keep true to the hardcore sound but not sound overly derivative? Content, content, content; that’s how. The world has enough hardcore bands spitting out pissed off, gang shout sermons to satisfy the introverted, seething masses. You need a concept. That’s why Wraiths are definitely worthy of shattering your eardrums. There’s a theme behind this EP and the band itself that pushes this release away from an imitative ‘scene fitter’ into the realm of the standalone cult making niche finder.
Tracks like doom inflicting Pyramid Head and the ethereal Monolith (with its haunting recital of Revelations 13:1) bring that face pummeling hardcore tone that Throats fans will love, whereas Church Burner’s Doors-esque guitar intro and the new separate single Burn Bethlehem’s doom-adelic thud will effortlessly satisfy the Iron Witch and From Beyond listeners. The only trouble with such a highly concept driven sound is keeping it fresh, and not over saturating every release with the same style and message so it becomes corny. Here’s looking forward to what’s to come from these guys; lets just hope its not Abaddon himself…