Wednesday 20 September 2023

Black Wound - Wither

Labels: Dry Cough Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 30 Jun 2022


1. Bite The Blessed Hand

2. Oceans

I was literally planning this review as news dropped of Black Wound's debut album release. Needless to say, continuing to follow the trajectory of this Swedish death/doom band is something I was more than eager to do. Wither was released back in June 2022 via Dry Cough Records, who have been involved in both of the band's previous releases, including their split with Skullsceptre. This EP features two tracks and acts as a pre-cursor to that aforementioned full-length (which, is on sale now by the way!).

Drowning out the generic pop/r&b that’s being played by my neighbour below is easily done when hitting play on Wither’s opener ‘Bite The Blessed Hand’. Black Wound have made it their mission to create truly nasty death/doom, just as it was back in the heyday of the sub-genre. Here, it’s presented in an urgent manner thanks to higher instrumental tempos and genuinely blood-curdling growls/screams. 

The EP’s second song ‘Oceans’ is a very different beast, with Black Wound favouring a slower yet entrancing approach to their music. Murkier and much lower in every department, it feels and sounds much more akin to a funeral march initially. After a couple of minutes though, everything’s turned up a notch or five. That tempo change catches you off guard and while it’s one that retreats back behind the band’s lumbering doom as quickly as it burst forth, it makes quite the impact. 

I’ve always been somebody who appreciates slower doom, I feel like there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Black Wound. Their musical honesty and song-writing skill stands out like a beacon here, elevated by the mid-section of ‘Oceans’, which is surprisingly light and melodic. A touch unexpected but gracefully delivered with a hint of avant-garde instrumentation thrown in. 

At times there’s an inevitability that songs lasting over ten+ minutes will begin to decline in quality towards their conclusion, it’s not the case here. The latter third it filled with glorious instrumental prowess and a smattering of death metal influence. It concludes an EP that’s short but oh so infectious. 

I’m fast approaching that time of year where doom becomes my go to sound. I have plenty of records to choose from (thanks to Dry Cough and others), though Black Wound will be featuring high on that rotation when the likes of Primitive Man, Meth Drinker and Slave Hands have choked out all light.

Stream and purchase Wither digitally below:-

Tape copies are sold out.

Black Wound -

Dry Cough Records -

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