Yarost' I Proshchenie by WowodRelease date: January 29, 2021
Label: Church Road Records
Wowod is a band that has populated my Bandcamp Wishlist for quite a while in the vein hope that a physical release may materialise for its previous efforts. Whilst they remain digital only Church Road Records has pulled a blinder by releasing what is the band’s most adventurous and best so far. Yarost’ I Proshchenie sees everything expanded and turned up, its blackened hardcore and post-metal creates a beautifully brutal album full of yin and yang contradictions that are held together with a grappling sense of anguish, suffering and pain. It is an astonishing listen that batters and embraces.
That battle of yin and yang is abruptly obvious as all the even numbered songs are claustrophobic and furious, whilst the odd numbered tracks tend to be more expansive. The flow can be abrupt, especially when you go from the raucous post-metal epic of opener ‘Rekviem’, with its sections of clean, soaring guitar and vocals, into the face melting near death metal intensity of ‘Tanec Yarosti’, yet everything is still solidly held together. These contrary forces are complementary and swamping the album is an overbearing sense of pain which is expelled in various forms, these emotions permeate through the atmosphere of the album even when expressed in such varied fashion.
When you break all the differences in delivery into individual items it is insane to even think this album should sound so coherent. Even with just the vocals there is beautiful clean singing, impassioned screams, gruff harsh vocals and slower deep guttural growls. The styles in drumming are also varied with ‘Zhazhda’ showing off a mix of D-beat hardcore and flurried blast beats and these really drive the pace of the song. ‘Chornaya Zemlya’ plays a huge part in the album as it cuts ‘Zhazhda’ to a halt and brings the pace and atmosphere right to the depths. It is a massive track full of doomed dirge and in moments when hope seems to be glimmering through in the synth the drums step up to smash them into the mud. It also does a commanding job in creating a hideous atmosphere for ‘Zov Tysyachi Nozhey’ to brutally demolish as it follows. Whilst mixing pace and styles the album has those emotional threads and bonds between the tracks which do act like glue to what appears to be incompatible objects.
This really is like nothing I have heard before as brutality is mixed with a dense but measurably lighter atmosphere of those slower moments. Wowod has really pushed its sound in an expansive way and by not sticking to the one genre it has actually made a far more impactful and darker album, there are moments of hope in here, but they combine to make the heavier aspects even harsher. This is stunning and sees Church Road Records stepping out of the grim shadow of Holy Roar and setting itself on a truly exciting path.