Wolf King – The Path of Wrath (Prosthetic Records, 05 March 2021)
Discarded Self – Discarded Self (Sarcophagus Recordings, 30 April 2021)
Hello again, readers! Hard to believe how quickly another month has flown by…
I’ve got another pair of albums to share with you today, each filled with darkness and nastiness, from two groups who both reside somewhere out west. Let’s dive right in!
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First up, The Path of Wrath which was released last month by Prosthetic Records (who, by the way, are just killing it with new releases this year, aren’t they??) — this is the sophomore album by Wolf King from the East Bay Area, California. In case you missed it, we checked out the first one right here when it came out a few years ago.
Like that debut, this new record is equal parts melancholy and aggression; occasionally thrashy, often sludgy and crusty; all wrapped around a certifiably hardcore center. And once more, the band’s signature sound is its blending and juxtaposition of harshly screeched vocals with deeply guttural roars. Although in one of the later tracks (“Grief Portrait”) some epic-sounding melodic clean singing lays nicely over of the rest in some spots.
Generally speaking, this is a record that remains consistently strong right up to the end: the twelfth and final song “Eternal Hunger,” also the longest of the bunch, is a definite highlight, built upon huge doomy riffs.
Find The Path of Wrath on vinyl/CD or MP3 download here.
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Our second topic of discussion for today is Discarded Self, the self-titled debut (due out tomorrow!) of a new solo project by Jarret Beach, known for his involvement in a handful of other bands in the vicinity of Alberta, Canada. The Ontario-based label releasing the album, Sarcophagus Recordings describes it as consisting of “tales of the macabre to introspective trips into self-loathing and personal degradation that dredge up terrible memories of the past to drown in personal regret. There is no hope for the future here.”
I don’t know about you, but for me it was mostly that monstrous cover art that first grabbed my attention and drew me in. Once I was there, though, I found myself enmired by the putrid sludge contained within. Vile and acrid vocals upon coarsely-ground distorted riffs — all drenched in noise and static and feedback. And the cherry on top is a secret hidden bonus track: a cover of an old Fistula song, very well-done, but no surprise there given how well that band’s aesthetic and sound resembles the rest of the material found here. “No hope,” indeed.
You can pre-order the Discarded Self album or a t-shirt with that great cover art here.