Release DetailsLABEL Dwell Records
RELEASED ON 6/6/2006
posted on 9/2006 By:
Before now, I knew next to nothing about Dwell Records except for their Originators of Northern Darkness tribute album, but if Italian black metal act Stormcrow is any indication of the caliber of material, then I look forward to hearing more. Though only an EP of five songs in eighteen minutes, I’m convinced this is worth a listen.
I understand the intention of the brooding synthesizer intro “Keeping the Serpents Path” for an album like Wounded Skies, but to be honest, what I can’t understand is why every black metal band feels that the move is necessitated as absolutely imperative especially when it doesn’t even come close to accomplishing its intentions. Per usual, there’s a two minute waste of plastic before launching into an otherwise enjoyable EP.
While not quite as dark or infernal as bands like Setherial or Dark Funeral, the speed and intensity is definitely there in abundance and exemplified by the ferocity of “Dark Promises”. The Dissection heavy “Wounded Skies” is proficient. Often though, the compositional variety of songs like “Demons” sounds a good bit like Hecate Enthroned, but without the keyboards. Album closer “Anathems From our Martyr’s Graveland” even carries similarities to Lunar Strain era In Flames.
One of the major strengths exhibited on Wounded Skies is that the material comes across as natural, instead of an exercise in blasphemy like other bands who try way too hard to be the next Marduk. All in all, it’s pretty damn evident that the band is completely comfortable in their niche especially with the performance of their drummer.
Stormcrow don’t make a habit of blazing new paths, but at the very least the material presented is quality black metal with personal stamped all over it. I have little doubt that Wounded Skies is a release that myriads of black metal fans will easily find themselves drawn towards. For a debut, this is impressive, and I have little doubt they will continue to mature and develop. My only reserve despite my enjoyment is that for now all I can say of the material is that it’s not bad, the elusive aspect of greatness seems to be missing though.
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