Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cardinal Wyrm - Another Holy Trinity


When the whole metal movement was started and as it slowly started to gain momentum the attitude that embodied this music form was that of an unhinged expression of self and not really caring what others wanted. It was all about the music and the joy of being a miniscule part of something huge. However as time went on, all the various sub genres of music slowly got submissive towards the lure of money and instead of being an unadulterated and pure outpouring of one’s deepest emotions  turned into producing that what others wanted, and thus turned into everything that the metal movement was opposed to. However amidst all this doom metal stood its ground, reminding them what the genre was all about and stayed away from trends and this is possibly the biggest reason why the doom genre is as big as it is today. The hallowed grounds of doom remain so because of the fans and the numerous bands those remain true to themselves and to metal. Also, another reason why the genre continues to flourish is the continuous emergence of new bands that with their, often unique take on this genre expand the fan base of doom and the keep the current ones proud to be hardcore fans of the genre, and joining the army of this doom metal movement is three piece Bay area based band collectively known as ‘Cardinal Wyrm’.

Looking at the artwork that adorns this unique piece of music which as described by its creator and bassist Marcelle Marais in her words as "inspired by what is beneath the surface of the human form. That was my main driving force. My artwork is inspired by the recomposing and decomposing cycles of life, the journey of the soul through suffering, despair, hope, faith, love ecstasy, betrayal, lust, reparation and strength. So, I find it fits in well with our music.” leaves the onlooker enthralled to say the least. While most bands create artwork that almost instantaneously bring to mind what kind of music is encapsulated within it, this is the kind that keeps the beholder guessing and thinking. It is the kind of expression one can create not by following one’s peers and predecessors but is only possible from an unabashed emotional outpouring stemming from the deepest entrails, a trait that most bands seem to be missing nowadays. To call Cardinal Wyrm another doom band in the hordes present today would be a gross vituperation, the music itself being as unique and often as hard hitting as the artwork.

Necessity, they say is the mother of creation, and in this case certainly was. Tired of black metal influenced crust bands with tinny riffs and continuous screaming the band set out on creating something that reeked and permeated doom metal through and through and after a few line up changes put out their debut album entitled ‘Another Holy Trinity’ in the April of 2013. Describing this peculiar piece of music that stretches over 5 tracks and lasts 49 minutes isn’t exactly a cakewalk since the band have done some major thinking out of the box and in the process stayed away from conventional music tags. The music that the band play not only revolves around the nucleus of doom metal but also acts as a portal between the past and the present with influences from 90‘s sludge to the occult drenched doom of the 10’s to name a few. The way the band concocts this unique mesh wherein you can hear the malevolent aggression of Church Of Misery as well and long drawn out passages that take the listener into the stoner influenced unknown expanses of the unknown is laudatory. Cardinal Wyrm bastes with utmost repose into this already unique mix influences ranging from epic doom styling of early Solitude Aeternus and maddeningly gargantuan sludgy riffs. Though mostly mid paced the tempo changes often ranging from the snail paced lumbering advances on tracks like ‘The Procession of the Gilded Wyrm’ to all out ragers like my favorite track on the album ‘The Circle’.  Another thing that grabbed my attention here was the immense out of variation present here. On one hand if you have the well channeled grit of inordinately copious riffs on ‘The Rope’, you also have the long forgotten art of the art of dirty, aggressive, angry, filthy and violent attitude of the punk influenced, feedback drowned sludge of the early ‘s ala Noothgrush and Acid Bath on ‘Ruin’.  As the oppressively down tuned guitars of Natan are bolstered the brutally heavy plodding basswork by Marcelle the band moves forward with a swagger that sometimes resonates of utter destruction and at other times is reminiscent of some unholy ritual in full flow in an abandoned forest. The performance that warrants special mention though is that of Pranjal Tiwari who along with supporting the band with his drum work has slapped us with some of most versatile and unique vocals I have ever heard. With influences from the authoritative epic doom preaching of Messiah Marcolin or Robert Lowe, he also wanders into territory so well established by Hour of 13‘s Phil Swanson’s occult drenched vocal delivery only to morph into an alter ego spewing forth some of the most mephitic and toxic guttural vocals which with its hostility acts as the glue to create a sound that Cardinal Wyrm an call its own.

With a continuous undercurrent of emotion permeating throughout this release, the band has created a varied release which at times abrasive and other times slightly melodic makes sure the attention of the listener never meanders elsewhere throughout the album which flows foreword with extreme fluidity where each tempo change, each riff and each section of each song has been placed only after utmost thought to aesthetics and so as to have the greatest impact possible on the listener. There is nothing much like this out there at the moment and ‘Another Holy Trinity’ deserves your attention and is something that the connoisseur of doom will certainly enjoy.

SCORE - 82/100

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