Heresiarch - Wælwulf 7” EP (2014)
Iron Bonehead Production
Review by Trevor Proctor
Formed in 2008 New Zealand’s Heresiarch play intense, oppressive, blackened death metal; their previous releases include a demo entitled “Obsecrating the Global Holocaust” and their much praised EP “Hammer of Intransigence” – both of which were released in 2011. This will be their first release since then so to say expectation and anticipation around the release of Wælwulf is high is an understatement.
The EP will only be available on 7” vinyl via the excellent Iron Bonehead Records, with two tracks on side A; Wælwulf and Abrecan with Endethraest on side B. Iron Bonehead has an eye for selecting excellent underground bands and already has an impressive roster including Abyssal and Sheol – two of death metal’s most promising underground bands - Heresiarch fits in exceptionally well with the label and it’s releases; further adding to Iron Bonehead’s impressive, and growing list of essential underground music.
Wælwulf is an first-class track to introduce you to Heresiarch’s blackened death, featuring elements of death, doom and black metal it’s a three minute trip into the depths of Heresiarch’s hell – NH’s tortured vocals merely add to the oppressive, blackened atmosphere helping create torturous, down-right savage death metal. Track two, Abrecan is by far the slowest on Wælwulf, it’s painstakingly slow and churns with doom laced menace, again with NH’s vocals helping to summon and create a dank, dark, doomy atmosphere – this is underground death metal as it should be; creepy, ominous, heavy as hell and damned sinister. Endethraest sees Heresiarch create varying atmospherics across its six minute duration from punishing, pummelling blackened death to slower, doom influenced passages this track showcases Heresiarch’s varying styles and the ease with which they can create varied atmospheres.
Throughout this EP what’s most prevalent is the ease with which Heresiarch are able to create uncomfortable, hostile, intimidating atmospheres, a feat many of their peers are unable to match. With death metal like this atmosphere and oppression are vital and the ability to create both is what sets bands like Heresiarch and label contemporaries Abyssal and Sheol aside from the growing throng of death metal bands.
Production on the EP is quite organic with nothing artificial or manufactured to be heard, again adding to the overall feelings of menace and authenticity. Wælwulf is a fantastic introduction to the music of Heresiarch; needless to say I am that impressed by them I’ll be ordering the 7” and also their previous release “Hammer of Intransigence” - then it’ll just be a matter of waiting with bated breath until their debut full length album is released later this year via Dark Descent Records. Released on 31st March this is essential listening for fans of authentic, atmospheric, blackened death metal.
The Wælwulf 7” EP is released by Iron Bonehead Productions on March 31st.