A dense cloud of ominous riffs floats across the void with subtle, sad melodies slithering through the thick fog. Droning dirges soaked in occult vibrations, guided by the enchanting clear voice of the high priestess of doom, emerge from this cloud. Enraptured and hypnotised I stand, my mouth opened in awe of this colossal monster that is coming to devour me. Yet I refuse to turn and run. I want to be swallowed up in this hungry, monstrous mist and be torn to shreds by the siren in its centre.
The Wounded Kings have returned and we shall all tremble before their awesome power! We shall revel in the flagellation we receive, we shall rejoice and be jubilant in the name of Doom!
‘Consolamentum’ is the name of this dirge filled slab of concrete and, like its predecessors, it is an unrelenting assault of slow, heavy, dark, heavy, nightmarish yet beautiful, heavy doom metal. Did I mention the heavy bit? ‘Consolamentum’ is a perfect blend of all previous releases of The Wounded Kings and might just be their strongest effort to date. Seven songs are cast upon us, seven spells of sorrow and misery, seven curses of death, seven hymns from lands and worlds beyond the veil.
What fearsome weapons these Kings wield. Drums that resound so deep that they awaken those that slumber far beneath the earth. Bass as crushing as the hammer of Thor. Guitars not like swords but battleaxes, caked in gore. Subtle keyboards, like invisible assassins. And that voice! That hypnotising, enchanting wail! Clearly this must be the offspring of the unholy union of a banshee and a siren, enticingly beautiful, but utterly soul destroying.
Each lengthy track a shining jewel upon the crown of the beast, ‘Consolamentum’ sits firmly at the top of the whole doom scene. It’s roots firmly in the Sabbathian tradition, adapting and perfecting the ridiculous heaviness first wielded by the likes of Electric Wizard, it is the added esoteric and mystical feeling in the music that makes this album ascend above all its peers.
I keep getting drawn back into the strange landscapes, the cyclopean ruins from whence these musicians came. Each and every track a beating of the wings of the huge demon this album is. There are some moments of respite to be found on the journey though. Especially the track ‘Space Conqueror’ which has this profound visual effect on the listener. Ritualistic drums and subtle guitars drag you across the gulf of space to alternate dimensions. Weird yet strangely familiar are the surroundings here. Almost like our world, only covered with a thin veil of deathlike greyness. Just when we have grown accustomed to this tranquil place, enormous claws grab us and take us further towards unknown hells and tortures.
In the end there is nothing but a devastated shell of me left. My spirit has been crushed, my mind has crumbled and my soul has been torn to shreds. And still I rejoice! Still I tremble at the majesty of The Wounded Kings. I shall call their forbidden names for all eternity. All hail the Kings!!!
Scribed by: Kevin Kentie