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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Wolves Carry My Name - "Amongst Ruins and Ashes"

Hey, kids! Looking for that perfect gift for you-know-who this Mother's Day? Is your mom into sludge metal? Does she love slow tempos, rolling grooves, and thick growls? Then she'll LOVE Siegen, Germany's stoner-sludge quintet, Wolves Carry My Name! Act now and download Amongst Ruins and Ashes for FREE, and gloat to your siblings as Mom tells those assholes that you're her new favorite!

Alright, you may be better off not even mentioning this one to your mom. Wolves Carry My Name haven't even existed one year, but their debut erases any doubt about their ability to lay down some killer stoner-sludge metal. Book-ended, just as the title promises, by Ruins and Ashes, the album exudes patience and groove as much as it spits piss and mire.  The misty gallop of Ruins tells listeners there's something more happening here.  The spooky drift relents to a low, muddy rhythm underneath the rasp of Konstantin.  This is gonna be good.

Every track on the album seemingly shifts its shape, evolving from crush and curdle to psychedelic restraint.  Lupus Milk's trippy guitar lilt builds toward a slow, crunchy jam.  Licks are laid intermittently within Dennis's bass bounce. A southern-stoner bar atmosphere is broken by Konstantin's gravelly spray. On its way home, the song hits every gear toward a psych-jam once the jagged cliffs have been cleared.

Speaking of southern, the trailer-court sludge of Nineteen Stitches stomps with militant drums and doom before picking up steam and chopping down everything in sight.  WCMN never stray far from the sludge tempo, even as the brilliant guitars of Adil and Tobi hit a smoggy cosmos.

Somber rain best-characterizes As We Worship Their Shadows. The heady fuzz and ominous cymbals craft a slow, sad dance that's numbing and cathartic.  Steadily rising and ultimately crushing, this is the album's best track.  What follows is the awesome, Adrenaline-era Deftones-esque City of Knives.  Sliced grooves and guitar warble complete the stoner-sludge tandem. There's no containing this sound, fleeting and spooky as it is.  The crawl to classic doom is nothing short of killer, and all elements of this sound later marry for a progressive jam.

But let's talk about the disc's closer, Ashes.  The haunt promised throughout the album is fully-realized through troubling Jonestown audio clips that do little to mask the distant guitar drone.  The message is one of encompassing terror and exorbitant loss.  Exercise caution with this one.  Careful with that chug, Mom might say.

Let's be serious; your mother would hate this.  That's what music is supposed to do.  It should piss off your parents, perhaps even frighten them.  Does that necessarily add to an album's appeal?  Maybe.  But what makes this sludge so delicious is the incorporation of extraneous elements that stick to the skin of this weathered beast.  What makes it so impressive is that Wolves Carry My Name have only been doing this for seven or eight months.  Their mothers must be swollen with grimacing pride.

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  1. Whoa, great melodic, thunderous grooves, but the squawking, grunting vocals ruin it for me. I'd buy this one in a heartbeat if the vocalist wasn't on hand.

  2. I got chocolate from my sons for mother's day. It wasn't just a haphazard bar, it was an excellently composed one from a good chocolatier, with quality ingredients and unique flavor. There was chili in it, a rather unusual ingredient for chocolate, but it made it all the more delicious.... and I thought: Hey that tastes like WCMN and Konstantin's vocals are the chili. I told my sons, but they had no idea what I was talking about.


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