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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

REVIEW: Wyrdforge - Wyrdforge demo [2012]

Full disclosure: The instrumentalist on this demo is a friend of mine (and a contributor to this blog, in fact). I believe my opinions to be impartial though.

The opening chords of this, Wyrdforge’s first (and only, thus far) demo, scream of Triptykon. It’s a bit of a false introduction in that way, because the rest of the demo has very little to do with that style. Anyway, this intro/opening track (it could conceivably be viewed as a full song) gives little indication of the style which is to come. In fact, it’s probably the weakest track on the demo, which is a shame, as many will hear this, presume it’s intended as a full song, and move on to their next bitesize chunk of music. It offers very little variation – only one riff is used, and it’s not particularly exciting.

Starting with track two, however, the demo is very exciting stuff indeed. ‘Invisible Mastery’ opens with a riff that could quite easily be prime-era Slayer, and continues with a display in sheer aggression balanced with sufficient melody to keep this from becoming a mud of indistinguishable riffs. The production is appropriately raw for this sort of release, and complements the varied vocal style (from standard OSDM style grunts to harsher, blackthrashy screams).

The centrepiece, ‘Necromancy And Napalm Bombings’ is clearly the best track of the demo. Juxtaposing a thrashy style with blasts and truly catchy riffwork, one hears d-beats blended seamlessly into blastbeats and thrash beats and fills, without any sense of the disjointedness that is often produced by this sort of attempt. Again, it’s clear that Wyrdforge are at their best when going at full tilt; the effectiveness of the more mid-paced songs is hampered a little by the lack of the exhilaration that’s often needed for this sort of thing to work well.

What this is not is original. If you want new, original albums, go listen to Abyssal or Dodecahedron. If what you want is old-school worship which wears its influences on its sleeves and is well-written, then Wyrdforge will please you a lot. The main similarities are the aforementioned Slayer, with a little bit of Aura Noir and perhaps Kreator in there as well. This is a tried and tested combination, but one that Wyrdforge use to devastating effect. The occasional blastbeat with a more melodic riff bears heavy resemblance to Fukpig’s Belief Is The Death Of Intelligence.

When you reach the closer, ‘Leeching Spell’, you’ll realise that it’s essentially the culmination of all the bases visited across the duration of the previous tracks. Perhaps the dilution of these styles reduces their effectiveness a little, but it’s a catchy tune, and one that will stay in your head for a while. My main problem is the abrupt ending – although I was assured this was intentional, I don’t think it works – it seems that the song simply cuts out where some kind of more musical progression to end the demo would be more appropriate. Put it this way – it gives the impression of the band shouting ‘there’s our ideas guys, now fuck off’ at the end. A small problem, but one that leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth.

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