WARDAEMONIC
"Acts Of Repentance"

(Transcending Obscurity)

01. Act I – Introspection
02. Act II – Admission
03. Act III – Castigation
04. Act IV – Sufferance
05. Act V – Repentance

RATING: 8/10

With tens of thousands of bands creating hundreds of thousands of hours of face-melting black and death metal, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that many of us are becoming desensitized. In the non-metal world, or what's left of it at this point, most people would shit their pants if they heard KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, let alone anything more extreme, so it really is all relative. But we are victims of our own tastes, folks, and the quest to find the next band that will truly make you want to drive your car through a series of brick walls is a never-ending one. And that's where WARDAEMONIC come in. Australia has produced plenty of bands in a malevolent vein over the years, and if you're not jamming the likes of CEMETERY URN, GOSPEL OF THE HORNS and ABOMINATOR on a regular basis, then you're simply not doing this thing properly, but even by those uniquely Antipodean standards of bludgeoning fury, "Acts of Repentance" immediately stands out as one of the most untamed and vicious records to be released in years.

This is pure black metal at heart, underpinned by an omnipresent microtonal whir of malice and propelled by blastbeats that seem to fold in on themselves through sheer force and velocity. Opener "Act I – Introspection" has many changes of pace and rhythmic focus, but the overwhelming impression is of a band locked in some infernal sprint to the edge of the abyss, enthralled by their own warped riffing and in a permanent state of churning rage. "Act II – Admission" is even more punishing; a heads-down blur of blasts and roars, it pulls off the neat trick of sounding redolent of both gonzoid, atonal war metal and epic, symphonic black metal with a doomy streak. WARDAEMONIC may not be doing anything radically original here, but they're doing it with levels of intensity that are all too rare.

If 2020 produces a more pulverizing 12-minutes of music than "Act III – Castigation", then I'm sure we're all very much here for it. But until that moment, it's an audacious act of epic savagery that reveals hidden, doom-laden depths and a dash of progressive intuition in the Aussies' otherwise streamlined and stoic formula. The remaining tracks, as you might hope, are every bit as unforgiving and unstoppable and, unusually, pretty damn memorable too. The faint-hearted should look elsewhere, of course, but if you fancy being skillfully eviscerated by Satan's scalpel, WARDAEMONIC have you covered.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).