Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 2/14/2006
The Wrath of Gaia
posted on 5/2006 By:
It should be mentioned that with no outside help besides the vocals, founding member Fraust handled both the recording and conception of the material solo. However, Wolven Ancestry have now moved beyond the realms of just another one man project and have expanded their lineup (including members of Fleshcraft in the fold) and have begun pushing their art towards new dimensions. Though Wolven Ancestry may be a bit hesitant in using the idiom of black metal to categorize themselves, I assure you that even despite their efforts to not to be bound they find themselves firmly rooted in the black metal tradition, yet still manage to distinguish themselves by crafting an album that hardly relies on emulation
It doesn’t particularly comes as much of a surprise that The Wrath of Gaia wasn’t recorded with a huge big studio budget in mind, but what does come as a surprise is the quality and overall clarity of the production despite the fact that it was recorded on a laptop by Fraust himself. All things considered, he has done as damn fine a job as anyone else could have done in a similar situation. Granted there’s a few issues like the guitars being a bit too fuzzy for my taste, but who the hell listens to black metal for its awe-inspiring production? It actually works here and I’d be wary if The Wrath of Gaia sounded anything else but raw.
Very much like the production, the music is harsh, abrasive, and above all bounded inexorably to nature, everything firmly rooted in ambient folk and feral black metal employing earthen tonalities and epic misanthropy to create a veil of malevolence that shrouds their album. Though they explicate on Norse-like themes (it isn’t a revolutionary idea by any means) the style and ambiance is not a contrived gimmick like many bands, but an honest display of reverence. The formula might not be too derivative of one we’ve all seen countless times of semi-melodic black metal bands with folk characteristics, but what separates Wolven Ancestry is their conviction. What they’ve done is played with passion instead of relying on a safe formula for assured success. They’ve decided to create music that is a direct reflection of their black metal ethos, consequences be damned.
Each song has character and diversity not only within themselves, but between compositions creating a cohesive and submersive experience. “Our Star-Guided Journey To The Realm Of Neverending Life” swells with bombast before weaving into the grandiose rage of “The Fountain of Ageless Growth, Lifeblood of all who Doth Bear the Spirit of Gaia” displaying their excellent skill level of both songwriting and musicianship which collides melody directly into a convincing blend of harsh, chilling black metal that’s not only convincing, but chilling. However, despite an abundance of quality, some songs lack the compelling intensity dragging down the album and greatly reducing the quality of consistency that would have allowed this to be a great album. I’ve heard what they can do, and though well played, “A Mythological Anticipation Of Omnipotent Immortality Enshrouds Our Viscious Conquest” is pure filler as far as I’m concerned. Beyond what I’ve mentioned, there’s really little in the way of stand out excellence besides the dark melancholy of “With Northern Twilight Resplendent, We Follow The Moonlit Path In Search Of Habitable Lands” and the sweeping passages of album closer “A Bloodline Of Immortal Passion Bestowed The Harmony Of Man And Wolf”
The Wrath of Gaia is a solid independent release that displays a commanding grasp of style and sensibility of dynamics that results in a praiseworthy and notable debut. There’s absolutely no doubt that Wolven Ancestry is a band full of vitriol and promise, able to please both purists and those searching for black metal with a more imaginative scope. However, they do have much room to grow and mature as their music is more ambitious in scope than in reality. With a bit more maturity and strengthened performance they will undoubtedly begin to make a name for themselves.
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