Album Review: WODE Wode
Man, Broken Limbs Recordings are fucking killing it with all of their great releases these days, and Wode's self titled debut is the latest and greatest example of this. Wode is six tracks of ethereal overwhelming black metal magic. This is a band who invoke darker spirits, insane prophecies and a sense of sheer peril that few of their peers can match. What makes Wode truly special though is their ability to craft soundscapes worthy of Emperor. Sure they're only a three piece, but they represent a world apart, one that few bands can really touch on in this day and age. In a world where the true power of black metal is often diluted, Wode come out powerful and bold, slaughtering the innocent with every crashing chord.
There is something inherently exciting about Wode. I can't really put into words, but I will say this much. Remember how excited you were when you first heard Carpathian Forest or Immortal? That feeling of "Holy shit, this is it"? Well Wode tap into that. I know that's high praise and that I've compared this band to a lot of classic groups, but the comparisons are well merited. Don't think that these guys are just aping the old masters though. Wode are magical because they fill their own void and have found a unique and exciting place within the black metal canon. They have conjured up something greater than themselves with this release and are only just figuring out how to harness it.
As much as I love this record and the incredible aural worlds it paints, there are definitely a few limiting moments. The band has managed to impress the world off the strength of their 2011 demo and it's clear a lot of work went into this project. Still, you can tell that this is a new project, and though Wode may very well be one of the best black metal debuts I have heard in recent years, it is still a debut. Certain songs drag a tad too long, others don't feel quite developed enough. Don't get me wrong though, Wode is insane – the band has clearly tapped into something of mythical proportions, now they just need to figure out how to properly maintain their trademark bombast and refine the melodic content within.
I'm already seven listens deep on Wode and I get the impression that I am setting myself up only for more. My roommate has cast aside his philosophy text book and is air guitaring ferociously, I'm lying back, soaking in the vibes and Wode are unleashing their rage across my living room. Few bands evoke both the old school of black metal with its frost bitten landscapes and the pagan magic of the newer stuff as well as Wode do. They straddle generations with an epic sound that any fan of the genre can get into. They've already drawn the attention of giants like Tombs and Bast and now its time that you check them out to. This is a band bringing the danger back into a genre forged on church burnings, get on it.