Released: 2014, Iron Bonehead Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Apparently limited to 1000 copies, Heresiarch's new 7” EP WÆLWULF isn't going to break any sales records. Not that it would be aiming to, this kind of ultra-blackened death metal is not for everyone. Maybe only those people who can manage the super chargrilled sausages from the BBQ. Which are usually still raw on the inside.
Kind of like Heresiarch then, because WÆLWULF feels a long way from overdone on the production side. You can't put sparkle on this you see, it's meant to be filthy, it's meant to be an brutal, it's meant to push certain limits. Take “Waewulf”. The drums pound at you, guitars scream and drag their nails behind, the vocals below guttural – it's musically uncomfortable to listen to. You kind of assume that's the point, you have to give the band your attention because they make it impossible to turn a blind ear.
Did we mention these guys are from New Zealand? That warm, sunny place with penguins? And apparently a gate to hell. “Abrecan” isn't so much a song as four minutes of atmosphere. Doomier, slower, and almost with alarm bells ringing, it's still just as intent on crushing you. Meanwhile “Endethraest” seems to have sampled some of the background noise from hell. Probably via that aforementioned gate. It actually progresses quite nicely, with some ups and downs to the savagery, but by this point the vocals aren't really doing anything for it. They're just a bit standard. Yes you're evil, now choke up that black mass that seems to be bothering you and get a glass of water.
If you like feeling as though any light and hope in the world has been ground beneath the heel of something far larger and darker then you and WÆLWULF should get a speaker. If you have any shred of joy left inside you, proceed in small doses, or prepare to have it sapped from you. Probably why they only made a 1000 of them. Probably.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs