(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Badb (2004), 6/10 (EP)
L.O.T.M.P. (2005), 7/10
Screech Owl (2007), 6.5/10
Stratification (2008), 6/10
Working Together For Our Privacy (2010), 6.5/10 (EP)
Freermasonry (2011), 6/10

After the cassette EP Badb (2004 - Crucial Blast, 2011), that collects early material, Canadian trio Wold hid eerie melodies in the barrage of melodic repetitive new-wave keyboards, programmed beats, electronic noise, black-metal vocals and shoegazing guitars of L.O.T.M.P. (Profound Lore, 2005). Everything is extreme, aiming straight at derailing the psychology of the listener. In the middle of the apocalypse Invocation Of Fire pits a demonic growl against an angelic female lullabye. Invocation Of Water is a massive wall of electronic noise and tribal drums. The singer in Invocation Of Earth sounds like a maniac vomiting while a volcano is erupting. Invocation Of The Eye piles up industrial clangor, terrifying drones, lifeless riffs, and, nonetheless, pales in comparison with the chaotic, frenzied, riff-rich Tending Thy Grounds. The Lost Speech is a post-prog rhythmic experiment wrapped in ugly noise that rises to a symphonic intensity. Vocal and guitar noise become an abstract whirling cloud of audio dust in Lug-Dunum, one of the peaks of pathos. The "quiet" moments (everything is relative), such as Invocation Of Air and Be It On Be It Within, evoke the gothic new-wave of the early 1980s, like a distorted version of Dark Day. Then the album suddenly switches to a sendup of military music (L.O.T.M.P.) and to ten minutes of looped celestial musichall (Children Of The Proud Fields). The longer pieces are actually more tolerable: the eleven-minute Irminons follows six minutes of burning devastation with glitch music that sounds like crackling ashes. The ending, Weeping Goddess, is violently spastic but also, in its own way, majestic.

Next, Wold approached Japanese noisecore on Screech Owl (Profound Lore, 2007). It begins with the loud, visceral, seismic panzer-industrial beat of Habitation Of Dragons And A Court For Owls. Then it slides into the black hole of distorted noise that is Ray Of Gold under which one can barely detect a melody, like a Merzbow remix of Velvet Underground's acid ragas. Some pieces (Nervosa, This Is How I Know) are little more than thick steady noise, culminating with the epileptic Ministry-grade So That No Sword May Strike Him Down. I'm The Chisel is the rare articulate song, and, in fact, almost theatrical, a combination of insane screaming and a horror keyboard theme; and Screech Owl buries an anthemic garage riff in booming noise. That's as much rationality as one can find on this album. However, this album also exhibits another personality, drenching ghoulish vocals in ambient electronica The Field Hag, indulging in eight minutes of cyclic transcendent electronica in Gather Under Her Shadow, and painting the 13-minute post-industrial soundscape of Undying Fire Of Urian; pieces in which relatively little happens. The longer December Eve is basically a spoken-word piece with a soundtrack of battered electronica.

Pared down to a duo, Wold continued their mission on the equally disturbing Stratification (Profound Lore, 2008) and Freermasonry (Profound Lore, 2011). The former begins with a loop of noise, Stratification, then delves into the usual manic "noise and scream" song Sleigh Ride, doubled by the even more industrial damage of White Winter Wanderer and eventually by totally deranged closer Auld Tree. The seven-minute Nine Paths is a tribal dance of damned souls burning in hell. Frost Crystal Symmetry belongs to the atmospheric side of Wold, and actually works better than the violent pieces. Ditto for the surreal instrumental Wintertime. The problem is that the best pieces tend to be simple loops, no matter how powerful what they are looping, and the pieces with more development are not powerful enough.

The EP Working Together For Our Privacy (Profound Lore, 2010), containing three lengthy audio nightmares, was their most radical emission of brutal noise yet.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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