|Review: Wolven Ancestry - The Wrath Of Gaia|
|The Wrath Of Gaia|
Label: Archaic North Entertainment
Year released: 2006
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: July 26, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:The Wrath Of Gaia
Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (6 Votes)
I bought this nearly two years ago when Wolven Ancestry opened for Rotting Christ, but it's only recently that I started listening to it (what can I say, once in a while an album slips through the cracks!) As far as I know this was recorded with minimal means, but frankly I've heard albums recorded in full-blown studios that sounded way worse – not to say that this one sounds bad, however.
The raw production helps give this some guts – the album has a pretty raw and abrasive sound, albeit not "bedroom Black Metal" style. The guitars especially often sound like a haunting medley of static distortion, and that's pretty effective in the slower numbers. Frankly, from a sonic standpoint the only thing I find sometimes unbearable are the keyboards which often sound way out of place amid this distortion fest. Melancholic, too "synthetic" and too high in the mix simply make some passages sound like bad symphonic BM. Thankfully the keyboards aren't always used in this fashion, so it doesn't ruin the whole album. No problem on the vocal side, however – the vocals are harsh, undecipherable BM rasps, which fit perfectly with the raw guitars.
Musically, The Wrath of Gaia is a blend of fast, whiplash-inducing BM with more doomy/melancholic passages – this is not without reminding me at times of some of Emperor's early material, but less keyboard-heavy. There are more than a few epic-sounding passages, as well as some more-or-less ambient moments popping up here and there.
Basically Wolven Ancestry had meddled a bunch of BM styles and pulled it off pretty well – not quite minimalistic, not quite raw-and-fast-as-fuck, not quite symphonic, just a mix of it all. Can't say this album lacks variety! The production job could be better, but overall it works fine – really the major obstacle here and what needs the most work are the keyboards.
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