Oakland, California residents Cardinal Wyrm, a band who’ve been trudging the metal and doom scene since their 2013 debut Another Holy Trinity, prepare to unleash the next chapter in their heavy onslaught, the eight track offering that’s simply entitled Devotionals. Set to see the light of day on the 11th December as a cassette and download, it also features artwork from the amazing Kim Holm, surely this is begging for a vinyl release?
Although rooted in the more traditional sense of doom metal, Cardinal Wyrm take this concept, and push those boundaries, exploring the paths of noise-rock, deathrock and sludge. This is exemplified on the track Canticle, which you lucky readers of The Shaman can hear below, but rather than me blabber on about its origins, drummer, and lead vocalist Pranjal Tiwari gives you the lowdown…
‘Canticle tells the age old story of meeting the devil at the crossroads and being offered the all glory of the world… at a price. In this case the story is told from the point of view of the devil making the desperate traveller an offer. True to the song’s themes of fool’s gold and false promises, the music initially seems shining and triumphant, but there’s an uncomfortable, unsettling undercurrent to it, especially when Leila‘s primordially savage growling vocals come in. There’s then a strangely restless, nightmarish middle section with mournful guitar and bass lines from Nathan and Leila, where we catch a glimpse into the abyss, the misery that’s etched on the other side of the coin. After this, we’re asked to make our choice… the ordeals of hell or the oblivion of living a quiet life and being forgotten. Which way would you go?’
Now click play to hear Canticle, but will you go left, or take a leap to the right…
More on Cardinal Wyrm & ‘Devotionals’
Cardinal Wyrm’s Devotionals can be described as heavy, intricate, driving, progressive, and genre bending music that seeks to tell a story. The album features Pranjal Tiwari (S.C.R.A.M.) on drums and lead vocals, Nathan A. Verrill (Terebellum, Fyrhtu) on guitars and backing vocals, and Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Terebellum, Hammers Of Misfortune, Fyrhtu) playing bass and providing additional vocals.
The follow-up to their Svart Records released 2016 album Cast Away Souls, Cardinal Wyrm’s Devotionals was recorded and mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios (Necrot, Vastum, Brainoil) and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Obituary, Sunn O))), Vastum). The album is completed with cover artwork by Kim Holm, photography by Michael Thorn and Amy Oshit, and layout/design by Shelby Lermo.
With this release, ‘We wanted to go back to our DIY roots,’ says drummer and vocalist Pranjal Tiwari. ‘One of the reasons we liked the title Devotionals is because it evokes that DIY spirit. This is a collection of songs for the faithful, for our community of people devoted to staying independent, to creating the music and art that we want, in our own spaces, and growing in our ability to channel from deep within. It often feels like we share a devotion to something that seems hopeless and is constantly under attack. But at the root of it all, there’s a fanatical belief in pulling off what other people think is impossible, and we wanted to go back and draw from that in making this album.’
Cardinal Wyrm has similarly forged their own path, evolving, and progressing from their first release, Another Holy Trinity, through Black Hole Gods, and Cast Away Souls, to this current offering. Devotionals continues this spiritual journey into new lands.
The roots of the band, however, are still in doom metal, ’To me this is still absolutely a doom record, our band has always been rooted in the doom sub-genre. But it’s more just its own thing. I think we can just call it a CARDINAL WYRM record’ Tiwari concludes.
06. The Abbess
08. Do We Have Another Battle Left In Us
Cardinal Wyrm are:
Leila Abdul-Rauf – Bass & Vocals
Pranjal Tiwari – Drums, Vocals & Lyrics
Nathan A. Verrill – Guitars & Vocals
Devotionals will be released independently as a cassette and digital download on 11th December with pre-orders available over on their Bandcamp.