Worm Shepherd - In The Wake Ov Sòl | Album Review

Spewing forth from the depths of Massachusetts, comes the vile, vulgar and demonically possessed blackened death sound of Worm Shepherd. Recently signed to Unique Leader Records, this band have wasted no time in triggering the apocalypse with a debut album that will wake the most malevolent gods. In The Wake Ov Sòl is an album built on frantic chaos and merciless wrath. Pinning a bold fusion of blackened death metal and brutal deathcore onto a technical death metal back death metal is an ambitious, potent and down right audacious move.

The overarching sound of the album is oppressive, dark and intense. With a penchant for demonically evil atmospherics, earth shattering riffs and skull splitting blast beats, Worm Shepherd have pushed the boundaries of what blackened death metal. The unearthly howls and haunting synths adds an eerie ethereal layer to the already diabolically disgusting slamming tech-death riffs. The musical intensity is matched by the lyrics. Every song is a tempestuous battle between light and dark, in a hard hitting, Hell-on-Earth soundscape.

The album explores a series of various suicide scenarios, the main aim being to highlight the brutally difficult and increasingly important issue of mental health, with the hope of reaching out to those who feel this way and letting them know that they are not alone. This also ties in with the album’s title, Sòl is the sun goddess of Norse mythology, and is the sister of the personified moon, Máni. Keeping that in mind, when the album is put in that light there is a strange hope that forms in the waking of the sun, giving the haunting music an added layer of conceptual depth.

In The Wake Ov Sòl also sees the band align themselves with some big names within the scene, the album features guest spots from Alex Koehler of Chelsea Grin, David Simonich of Signs of the Swarm and Adam Mercer of A Wake in Providence. The latter’s guest spot stands out the most, in the eerie and haunting album close ‘Chasm Dweller’. Featuring the album’s only set of clean vocals working in tandem with a solemn piano melody to create a mesmeric and evocative song. ‘The Emptiness Between Stars’ also follows a similar formula to ‘Chasm Dweller’, utilising ghostly melody alongside the crushing, down tempo riffs. The biggest surprise of the album is how melodically rich and intuitive it is. On the surface you’re met with gut busting blackened death riffs, yet looking a little deeper you see a true understanding of poignant, melancholic melody amidst the chaos.

An album with this much aggressive ambition and multi layered nuance is to be admired. The overall sound is refreshing and finely crafted to give the listener an experience that cannot easily be forgotten. The equal distribution throughout the album of the various aforementioned genres is incredible. Demonstrating articulate and creative songwriting on such a complex level on a debut release is not something to be dismissed.

In The Wake Ov Sòl is an unearthly and devastating yet strangely poignant album, channelling complex and dark emotions to create something that in essence is to demonstrate solidarity with those that fight their own hell everyday. It is quite beautiful how something so raw, aggressive and brutal in sound can resonate with you in this way.

Score: 9/10

In The Wake Ov Sòl is out June 4th via Unique Leader Records

You can purchase the album here