Wømb is yet another mysterious black metal joint from Portugal specialising in bleak, discordant, harsh and unrelenting miseryscapes fuelled by nihilistic rage and depression with fuzzed-out razor-strings, pummelling beats and agonised screams delivering an enticing slice of true black art in their first EP, Taciturn, released in July of last year. Wømb’s style is easily and accurately described as Bone Awl meshed with Vordr and Craft. Certainly, fans of those acts will find much to appreciate in this obscure project, but I’ll posit that there is more to the group (apparently a two-piece, judging by some murky press photos.) For instance, while they do have that raw, sloppy, punkish Ildjarn-worshipping vibe like Bone Awl, or the forlorn droning of Vordr under the dissonant fuzzy distortion-soaked rage of Craft, there is a considerable amount more in terms of thematic focus brought into it by these guys. 2013’s “Perceptions of Sightlessness” demo is a great example of how to implement this formula to its full potential while maintaining an edge of deliberation and finely-honed conceptual power that is lacking with the first two referenced bands, while taken in a more Darkthrone-ish, apocalyptic “black’n’roll” direction by Craft.
Not to say that this is any highly refined strain of avant-garde stuff. There are plenty of chaotic, ugly, willfully ignorant passages taken by Wømb throughout their effusion of demos and split releases over the past few years, and Taciturn is no exception to that streak. The established conceptual themes of disconsolate misanthropy, occultism, and bitter violence are in full force on this 7″ slab, distro’d by the equally-recondite Portuguese label Purodium Rekords, and while these seven tracks tend to segue seamlessly into each other they all possess plenty of individual merit, with savage, rasping vocals spewed out across sections of fierce blasting (and endearingly disjointed) drums, intermittent tremolo-picked, open-chord strumming, wailing and droning waves of guitars that produce some perfectly nasty moments to really shine in the mix, which although being the standard lofi wall of noise patented by Transilvanian Hunger and Forest Poetry decades ago, isn’t too washed-out to be appreciated by a true connoisseur of second-wave black metal such as the aforementioned works, or even more casual listeners. The raw aggression is tempered by a firm sense of structure and even an acknowledgement of melodicism, albeit a decidedly contemptuous one.
For me, upon several relistens, there are even a couple standout tracks in this gritty, greyscale mélange, although the gamut is admittedly sparse. “Ritual Union Through Sex Magick” (at three minutes, the lengthiest cut here) starts out at a plodding sturm und drang pacing, laced with the dejected down-picked guitar flourishes and corrosive growls from the vocalist, presumably detailing some gloomy/kinky type shit. Maybe just reading through Vampire Freaks archives, who knows. Esoteric closing track “Ekénōsen” has a groovy drum & bass backbone and features some Sargeist-y, drawn-out SCREEEAMS, which eventually echo out into silence. The total release clocks out at just over 14 minutes, giving each track an averge run of 2:01, and as I mentioned it’s rather homogenous, but for attentive, seasoned black metal disciples it’s a solid chunk of raw tunage to be appreciated like a fine wine. Or maybe just a cold pint of rotgut after a long day, whatever. Fans of this style will likely want to track down their back catalogue, but it seems to be limited to the label’s Soundcloud page, and some youtube selections. KVLT!!
Fanatic worshippers of arcane black noise, flock to this shrine. If y’aint know, now ya know..!! (Terrorgasm)