Sunday, August 12, 2012
Sunday Sludge: Wolf Lord - "Krixes"
Summer's coming to a close. School will soon be back in session and you'll need an extra twenty minutes to get to work because some asshole kid wants to throw raisins at his bus driver. Going back to class breathes a strange life into people. Some buckle under expectations and shut down, while others hit the chalk head-on and prove they've got enough sack to do what's necessary.
Charleston, South Carolina's Wolf Lord pour a thick, savory blend of stoner rock and sludge metal that demonstrates they've not only paid attention to their brew-master forefathers, but they've also cut the cord and slid into their own skins. Loaded with groove, moss, and enough jet fuel to take your uncle to the moon, Krixes is seven heavy wads of sludgy stew that's sure to gross out your classmates when you pour it from your thermos.
Fed heavy doses of Sabbath and Baroness, Wolf Lord open Krixes with Slow and Steady Wins the Brains, a cool opener with stoner groove. Call it an introduction, but that won't make it any less encompassing. The space-out drifts into The Horde, loaded with riffs and churning rhythms. The thickness is sprayed with moon dust as decaying vocals only draw out the tasty groove. Shifting tempos pair with ass-whip drums from a distant alley, slowing to a cumbersome drone that transcends genres' boundaries.
Wombrapture broods with a patient slug. Licks maneuver between sinuous bass ribbons while buzzsaw elements represent the album's most noticeable Baroness manifestations. We break into a slow, grinding sludge and soon enter an airy, atmospheric realm. The sound is progressively funneled into a blind gallop, kissing the sky with guitars and pushing tire treads back into the churn of sludge. And things only get better from here.
Riding on the back of uptempo fizz, the frenzied fretwork of Widower sticks to swamp sensibilities with dense, relentless shifts. Sludge never drowns in the progressions, which are undeniably ambitious. The slow march toward decay is a near-omen for the album's seam-splitting ass-end.
WizZzard is an intermission of sorts, effectively hovering instrumentally and throwing in a proficient solo. We're drawn into Ire is Fleet, a quick, steady trot of flurried cymbals and puncture-wound guitar bursts. Stoner-sludge greets the choir, doom elements emerge and dissipate, and the vocal tandem serves as another instrument of destruction. The bass nods point in the direction of Sabbath and classic rock kickbacks add an element of humanity to this opus. Migrating toward an open field of sonic chaos, this must be what battle sounds like: a perfect, epic breakdown.
Closing on the riff-laden Necromancer, dried and cracked soil becomes a dust kick-up. The full assault of drums and guitars breaks into a muted assembly-line dirge, like automatons being led into the unknown. The brief, buzzy drone-out at track's end is heavy-handed, and Necromancer challenges Ire is Fleet as the album's best track.
What'd we learn today, kids? Nobody? Perhaps the balance of swampy riffs and evolving rhythms was too much for you to handle. Wolf Lord shook us awake this morning, filled our bellies with some crunchy stoner-slop, and left us to our devices. Krixes will serve as a cornerstone of today's curriculum, and these seven lessons are potent, beer-drenched monsters of awesome gravity. Take this home and make your parents proud.
Wolf Lord is:
Joel Moore - Vocals, Guitar
Sean Kuhn - Vocals, Guitar
Lewis McKenzie - Bass
Payne Gregory - Drums