Released: 2014, Candlelight Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The history of doom has always been rooted firmly in British soil, from the game changing Black Sabbath to more recent legends My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost. With this status to retain, The Wounded Kings re-emerge from the fog on the tumbling plains of Dartmoor with an album that can achieve goose bumps from the opening track. The five-piece may have been haunting the metal scene since 2008 but it wasn’t until third full-length ‘In The Chapel Of The Black Hand’ in 2011that the magic truly started to appear.
This, for the most part, was thanks to current vocalist Sharie Neyland’s arrival. ‘Consolamentum’’s opening track ‘Gnosis’ has an intense build-up of reverb and layers and after a couple of minutes setting the atmosphere to the aural equivalent of an incense-filled cave, Sharie’s spine-tingling voice kicks in with, “I saw the devil, he made my shadows flesh”. The feminine touch Sharie gives to The Wounded Kings helps steer the ship through the gloom with occultist tones akin to The Devil’s Blood, whilst the riffs courtesy of Steve Mills and Alex Kearney crush and rumble with a devastation Electric Wizard would be proud of.
As exhibited on their previous records, the guitars are fluid and despite songs reaching the ten minutes at points, there is an epic journey had throughout. The shorter tracks such as ‘Elige Magistrum’ feel like fillers for the hell of it with a lack of groove but it gives a chance for a breather amongst the smog. Title track ‘Consolamentum’ is a standout moment with keyboards leading up to an intoxicating performance by Neyland, who appears to re-enact a witch’s cry within the coven amongst haunting drums.
Despite this album’s strong musicianship and aura, it isn’t enough to mesmerize and with a vast amount of brilliant filth amongst this genre currently, its being memorable that really counts.
Review by Lily Randall