Three full length releases and one split later, and the addition of Sharie Neyland, UK doom merchants The Wounded Kings are set to debut their fourth LP, “Consolamentum”, on Candlelight Records. This is the second female fronted doom band I have listened and penned about in the last few months. The first was Uzala featuring the hypnotic voice of Darcy Nutt and now The Wounded Kings’ Neyland. How does the lineup shuffle and Neyland’s vocals play out for the doomsayers from the UK?
It plays out and out and out in that glorious low end fuzzy way that can only bring out the best this style has to offer . The music is sludgy, its got fuzz, its slow, dark, edgy, and epic all at the same time. It is all things good with the doomy side of the metal spectrum. Maybe I am biased since I am such a fan of the style but all you have to do is listen to brief instrumental track ‘Elige Magistrum’ to know they can bring it. It is soulful the way the guitars are laid in this one, there is no mistaking that this band is loaded with pure talent!
Of course the opener ‘Gnosis’ should convince us that they mean business and have the talent to back it up. There is no mistaking what this album will be after the first few riffs drop in and when the drum and bass kick in the bottom just falls out and you are taken away to another dark place. Steve and Alex really do some amazing dual guitar work all backed in perfect by a beat heavier than shit laid out by Al and Myke. The opener is 13 minutes long and, like a good book, passes so fast you think there is something wrong with the recording. Neyland doesn’t even chime in till around the five minute mark, and when she does it all just coalesces into an amazing tapestry of bleak, dark, and beautiful. Neyland has this chanting style of delivery that will just captivate the listener, she has you, and she is not letting go until she is damn good and ready.
This album moves slowly through the bleakest forests on the darkest place of the planet through seven glorious tracks. Number six is aptly named ‘The Silence’ as that is all that is left after this quintet layed waste to anything around them leaving only an abyss of nothingness serenaded into eternity by Neyland and company. As the last agonal breath leaves us we are left with the slow riffing and contemplation of ‘Sacrifice’ another instrumental that serves to remind us just what we have witnessed and how we don’t want it to end.
In short, 2014 looks to be a another good year for the sludgy low end doomy side of metal, and for one I could not be happier. This is a black diamond of a release, alluring vocals, epic riffing, and strong as irons beat. This is a must get for doom fans and in fact its just great metal and music for any fan of the genre. The Wounded Kings have struck oil again, keep them pounding Kings! Go listen to “Consolamentum” and go gladly into the darkness.