Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Black Wasteland - (2016) Incantations of Decay

There is so much going on with Black Wasteland's new album "Incantations of Decay", that I don't even know where to begin... So, I guess I'll start at the beginning. Having released one full length, 2013's "Where Light Can Not Intrude" and an EP: "Dehydration" in 2014. The band hasn't run out of tricks in their seemingly endless dirty riffbag.

I really enjoy albums that don't follow or stick to a certain genre, but take what the group wants to convey musically and go into other sonic realms with it. Black Wasteland are particularly good at doing this. Maybe it has something to do with the vocalist. One minute sounding like John D. Cronise from stoner band "The Sword", and the next sounding like someone needing an exorcism. These days... and the older I get, the growlish vocals are something that I tend to avoid. However, when you combine them with the clean vocals, for some reason it works here. Giving the tracks variety, shape and shadow. The dark and the light, if you will. Adding to the intensity of the music.

I haven't looked up the band's influences for this review, but I'm pretty certain they would cite old school NWOBHM as a big one. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and the like. Along with the heavier bands of the spectrum like Venom, Witchfinder General and Celtic Frost. They take that old school vibe and combine it with modern day stoner rock, doom, sludge and a bit of psyche. Really pulling you in and making a very memorable heavy metal record. Taking the listener back in time, and also keeping them grounded in the present. Every fan of metal can, and will find something to stick their teeth into here.

"Incantations of Decay" is available through Barbarian Wrath Records, via Witches Brew online shop.

-Adam Walsh

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