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Review: Wyqm - Wyqm

Label: Death Agonies and Screams
Year released: 2009
Duration: 34:20
Tracks: 6
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: August 31, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 4.27/5 (85.33%) (15 Votes)

Wyqm is a US-based one-man band, and this debut is also the first release from new label Death Agonies and Screams. Wyqm's brand of Black Metal definitely isn't aimed at the "mainstream" (in the Black Metal sense of the term, that is.) A quick description could be "Torturous Black Metal", for this album feels like a journey into a tortured, tormented and sick soul. The vocals are undecipherable – and there are no lyrics sheet to help, so basically the vocals simply join the others as an instrument of aural torture – alternating between sick screams, low rasps and occasionally what sounds like multiple haunting voices in the background (not unlike what you'd hear in some dark horror movie.) To the untrained ear, the vocals might just come out as a squeaky, distortioned instrument – pretty sick and effective vocal work. I often use the term "razor-sharp guitars", but here the adjective can be applied to some of the vocals – they just cut through your eardrums.

Musically things are somewhat varied. A few fast-paced, chaotic, did-I-just-get-hit-by-a-train passages are reminiscent of the early to mid-90s "necro" scene, although here the production is much better than that stuff ever was. Some more slow to mid-paced passages bank more on creating the ideal atmosphere to achieve a very haunting, mind-fucking sound that can throw you in a bad trip if you're already feeling a little down. These tend to be a little on the monotonous/repetitive side, but the way it comes out isn't boring (unlike what the description would lead one to believe.) It's gloomy as fuck; you want it to end, but at the same time you want more. Not all bands can pull this off, but here it just works. These "mellow" passages are often accompanied by desperate-sounding screams that are a bit in the background, letting the music do its thing but making you reach out for your dose of sick vocals. Excellent effect here again. A few acoustic passages can be found here as well; taken out of context they could sound "pretty", but in the ensemble here, they come out as instruments of mental torture, just like the rest.

Overall, Wyqm's debut is a great slab of aural torment that'll make you look over your shoulder any time you're in a dark place. I'd say you've got to be "in the mood" for this type of music to fully appreciate it. Hopefully there'll be more of this to come.

Additional Information

This is a vinyl release limited to 500 copies:

200 on yellow vinyl w/ black splatter
300 on green vinyl w/ black mist

Other related information on the site
Review: Moloch/Wyqm (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Portrait of Spectre (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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