Having your expectations of any given album can easily go either way as the band in question can deliver something that exceeds expectations just as easily as they could give us something that we feel is lacking. I’m always more than game to experience the former, and I’m very happy to say that the upcoming effort from Wardaemonic did that in a big way for me as their brand of black metal has so much more to it than I dared fathom we would get.
Sitting down and hitting the play button, I had a feeling that “Acts of Repentance” would be a more or less monotone record with Wardaemonic’s fiery take on black metal that has never even dared to leave any survivors being just as caustic as it is interesting to sink your teeth into, and with only five tracks here I didn’t think Wardaemonic would have nearly enough time to deliver otherwise. But, I was foolish and didn’t think that this band would rise above my expectations nor did I look at the run times of this set. The shortest bit of “Acts of Repentance” goes on for over seven minutes while the longest almost doubles to over 12 minutes, and it’s in each one of those minutes that Wardaemonic delivers the expected take of blistering black metal to plenty of intriguing diversity amongst such chaos that really shows us just how adept this band is at delivering material of this caliber with each track having something to call its own in many different forms. And much like the fiery clouds that we see on that foreboding cover art, the whole of “Acts of Repentance” is a marvel as you can tell there is something quite foreboding about its sheer presence alone but you just can’t rip your eyes away because of how mesmerizing it is. In no small shortage, Wardaemonic achieves that very same feeling with their black metal here as you really can’t stop listening to it whether it’s because the pure audacity of its strength keeps your attention or the immensely thick craftsmanship of each song keeps you engaged to see just what exactly this Australian act will pull out of their deep bag of tricks next. While it’s far from anything incredibly innovative or something that shakes up the style in any big way, there isn’t much about “Acts of Repentance” that doesn’t fascinate a willing listener.
Such a performance like this more than warrants the raising of an eyebrow in pure intrigue as Wardaemonic both meets expectations and exceeds them in several different areas, and it’s each listen that provides something just a little more interesting than the listen before. “Acts of Repentance” is an absolutely insatiable work of scathing black metal, and I encourage any willing fan of the style to ingest this insatiable piece as it has plenty to offer.
“Acts of Repentance” releases on March 20th via Transcending Obscurity Records!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “Acts of Repentance” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Wardaemonic on Facebook here.