In a crowded environment where “cold and dark” black metal bands seem to be popping up everywhere, Sweden’s Wormwood shows that they are a significant cut above with their newest record, Nattarvet, on Black Lodge Records.
Integrating a bit of black ‘n roll into their black metal, tremolo picking is interspersed with beautiful guitar leads and rather compelling time changes. Songs like “Av Lie Och Borda” show how Wormwood can take traditional black meal and create something new with it, while still remaining true to the genre. In fact, that particular song has a number of guitar solos and even some dual solos – something you often don’t hear in black metal. Wormwood shows us that maybe we can all enjoy a bit more of that.
“I Bottenlos Avja” integrates some strings in the beginning of the song – taking a cue from classic bands like Taake and the integration of “non-tradition” black metal instruments into the more brutal subgenres of black metal. Similar to Taake’s amazing work, this integration works quite well here. The song, beyond the string intro, is also quite good.
“Arctic Light” is my favorite track on the record. Perhaps that most “straight forward” song, it’s fast and heavy but with very nuanced and somewhat lighter sounding lead work that adds a bit of melody. The time changes in this song also make this a very interesting listen. This is one of the best black metal songs I’ve heard all year to be frank.
“The Achromatic Road” is a breath taking, though rather melancholy track that has more incredible lead guitar work with some well placed pinch harmonics that show just how talented this band. It’s these details – the leads, the keys and the nuances that really take this band to the next level.
Overall, Nattarvet is a fantastic record and I look forward to hearing much more from this band.
Nattarvet releases on July 26 on Black Lodge Records and is available here.