Label: Cursed Monk Records
Band: Oldd Wvrms
Sounds converge in mysterious ways and inspired by ancient rituals and witchcraft, the band Oldd Wvrms crafts their own blend of crawling, creepy doom with post-rock affiliations. With ‘Codex Tenebris’ the band is unleashing their third album and it is one of a transformative nature.
Oldd Wvrms has worked as a fourpiece for a longer time, but on this record continues as an instrumental three-piece. Always a bold gamble in a genre that often relies on vocalist theatrics to keep attention on the band. But after listening to their record, I have no concerns regarding the attractive value of Oldd Wvrms’ music.
Enter the gloom with Oldd Wvrms. Opening track ‘Ténèbres’ is an instant baptizing in the dark and processional nature of their sound. Like a slow dirge, you are inevitably carried down, like a hoisted coffin, on a path towards the turmoil and chaos at the root of their sound. Notably, clean guitar sounds swirl together, with catchy rhythms from firm drums. It’s tempting to nod along. As we proceed the sound becomes heavier, more oppressive and then there’s suddenly calm. Questions arise, unanswered of course…
‘A l’or, aux ombres et aux abîmes’similarly never looks for the intensity and overruling thunder you might find in bands like Amenra, but stays on the level of slithering, macabre fear. It’s like a good suspense movie, where you have no clue what it is that causes your sense of fright. Is it human, beast or something elder and more frightening? In their music, the band plays with the clashing of their instruments to evoke eruptive moments of tension and certain anxiety. But never, ever does it let go of the rope and keeps tensions high, as done on ‘Misère & Corde’.
But there’s also a filmic quality to the music of Oldd Wvrms, like on ‘La vallée des tombes’. The percussion-heavy track is one to easily get lost in, as it evokes a certain trance in the listener with its strange push-pull effect in the sound. Yet it hammers away like no other towards the end. I have to say though, that ‘Fléau est son âme’ is the track that surprises me most, as it has some of that The Devil’s Blood magic going. The wrangled guitar sound, the peculiar tone drops and all that mixed in with the doomy sound of Oldd Wvrms. Love it.