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Wooden Stake – “At The Stroke of Midnight” – [Razorback Records]

stake

Don’t let the cover art fool you – this is more Black Sabbath than Black Witchery. Female-fronted Traditional Doom Metal with pronounced Death/Doom and Deathrock influences? Sounds trendy but let me hear it… Oh My Satan! I love this band. This 2012 CD compiles most of the bicoastal U.S. project’s past 7″ releases: 2011′s ‘Black Caped Carnivore’ (t.s 2-3), 2011 splits with Druid Lord and Blizaro (t.s 4-6), 2010′s ‘Invoke The Ageless Witch’ (t.s 7-8) and 2010′s ‘Vampire Plague Exorcism’ (t.s 9-13) plus one new track (1). And the new track softly plagiarizes Sodom’s ‘Proselytism Real’ (geez – does everyone steal this riff?) but it’s OK – overall this is superlative metal. My future wife Vanessa handles bass and vocals (both clean and harsh, often overlaid) while Wayne (of Father Befouled) takes care of guitar, drums and keyboards. A fusion occurs of Autopsy and Saint Vitus and a beautifully deformed infant emerges from the rancid egg, phobic of sunlight. Let’s call this ‘Horror Doom’ – an effortless fusion of old school depressive Doom heaviness with Death Metal morbidity. I’m ashamed to admit that I often find Vanessa’s melodic parts overtly sexy – or perhaps I meant to say Vampy: there is a preoccupation with classic Exploitation Horror at work, particularly the Vampire genre, as t.8′s sample of the immortal Barbara Steele in Mario Bava’s ‘Black Sunday’ nails home. Heavy like Winter but also heavy like Grief, and Gothic as fuck, this record evokes crypts full of vengeful ghouls. Fans of either Cauchemar or Thorr’s Hammer will be happy. T.9 is an interlude of wolves and synth piano; t.13 is also an incidental piece. Children of the night – what beautiful music they make.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on February 16, 2014 at 4:21 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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