When Boise, Idaho duo Pussygutt reinvented themselves as Wolvserpent with the release of 2010's incredible debut album Blood Seed, it was more than just a mere change of monicker; it reflected their transition from sparse, abstract dronescapes towards a more structured, malevolent sound that put them within the wide-ranging classification of metal, albeit at the outer fringes.
The blackened doom they conjured with that album held me utterly captivated, so much so that it was the very first album that ever moved me to try to put into words what I felt for its haunting, otherwordly ambiance.
Listening to it again many times after my initial review, I don't think I'll ever adequately describe the feelings it evokes, nor the nightmarish worlds it creates within my mind.
When the Perigaea demo became available late last year it coincided with a dark, isolated period in my life, and quickly became my escapist soundtrack, a creepily comforting collection that I would retreat to time and time again. The band's assertion that the demo was only "the early stages and younger concepts" that would inform the finished work, and that it would be "an entirely different manifestation of the ideas heard on the demo" made me eager to hear where they would take what was already an accomplished recording and concept.
The culmination of a two-year writing and re-writing period, with the finished album recorded with renowned producer/engineer Mell Dettmer (Sunn 0))), Boris, Earth), the release of their sophomore album Perigaea Antahkarana is upon us.
Considering that Wolvserpent is comprised of only two members, Blake Green on guitar, vocals, and keys, and Brittany McConnell on drums, percussion and violin, the way they build up the various layers in each song without them sounding cluttered or over-thought is miraculous, and their use of loops and effects pedals to produce such a wide variety of sounds is especially impressive in a live environment.
At 81 minutes this is not the sort of album you'll throw on for some easy-listening, but if you're willing to dedicate yourself to it, to submit to an awakening of your atavistic instincts, it's one of the most rewarding immersive experiences that metal on the more avant-garde end of the spectrum can offer.
Read my full review over at The Sleeping Shaman...