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Wolvserpent

Gathering Strengths / Blood Seed

Crucial Blast
2XCD $13.00

05/31/2011 655035019024 

CBR 90 


Blackened drone-metal duo Wolvserpent composes grim, folk-stained nightmares from the rural landscape outside of Boise, Idaho. This double-disc from Crucial Blast collects their Gathering Strengths and Blood Seed LPs, previously available only on limited-edition vinyl from Olde English Spelling Bee and 20 Buck Spin, respectively. The material has been remastered for this format, and comes in an eight-panel digi-pack with expanded artwork.

Originally released under the name Pussygutt—an old slang term for the violin or fiddle—Gathering Strengths offers two massive tracks, each one a mysterious and abstract slab of twilight drift and formless, low-end blackness. “Gathering Strengths (Silence Within)” opens with eerie field recordings surrounding the slow wheeze of a clarinet drifting through the woodland shadows. As the track unfolds, the whir of prayer bowls, distant tolling bells and muted strings float in, before the calm is split apart by a billowing, black fog of metallic heaviness that crawls over the horizon, seething and roiling just behind the mournful violins and creaking, whirring drones. On “Gathering Strengths (Spirit Walker),” distant percussion and melodies gradually build into waves of rumbling doom riffage that break and subside, revealing a dreamy funeral processional, dark and beautiful, austere and apocalyptic.

Blood Seed, the band’s fourth album, is featured here as a single, unbroken track. The first half of the 40-minute piece is made up of swirling folk-drone that slowly shifts into fractured, crushing heaviness underpinned by a massive, heaving sludge riff. After the drums fall away and the din dissipates into hazy clouds of amp buzz, soft wisps of violin lick at the edges of feedback. Beginning with the distant howl of wolves, a chorus of strange, nocturnal cries builds, evoking images of a midnight doom ritual performed by a coven of witches, a serpentine sludge-feast that stretches out to the very end of the album.

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