WRVTH’s Latest is Harrowing

WRVTH, formally Wrath of Vesuvius, released their record, Harrowing Winds today on Unique Leader. The album shows a band seemingly in constant transition. More than their name, WRVTH’s songs dance between tech-metal wizardry and post-hardcare angst, giving their music a visceral resonance to counterbalance their ominous textures and intricate interludes. This balance throughout the album entices from beginning to end and back again.

Harrowing Winds begins with the title track (above). From the beginning, something broods under the atmospheric tones, and it doesn’t take long for it to crest the aural waves and rear its Leviathan-like head. “Harrowing Winds” does well to set the bar high for the rest of the album–lighting upon the textures WRVTH weaves together throughout. From swirling piano melodies to manic legatos to grimy palm mutes, WRVTH leaves nothing out of their songs. Harrowing Winds, as shown from the first track, is a collage of metal styles, pieced together to highlight their disjunctions and continuities.

“Harrowing Winds” transitions well into the next track, “Malaise.” This track showcases the band’s tech-ier side, brimming with punchy kick rolls and proggy guitar licks before it washes into the moody interlude “Looming Sigils.” The third track, “Ongoing Dissension” continues this trend, with riffs and percussion that sound like the choicest cuts of Between the Buried and Me–think “Mordecai” or “Obfuscation.” That said, “Ongoing Dissension” has vocals that refuse to stay out of the sonic fray. WRVTH’s vocals add to each song a visceral quality that lacks from a lot of tech-metal.

From “Ongoing Dissension,” WRVTH leans more toward the carthatic. Each subsequent song amps up the emotional releases within the tracks. As a counterbalance, the band throws more and more sonic explosions into the mix, keeping the body and the ear hooked. WRVTH knows when to stay traditional with their arrangements and when to push against convention. “Lured by Knaves” is a perfect example. What seems like a straight-forward metal song suddenly gives way to a saxophone bridge–perhaps the most metal saxophone I’ve ever heard (and yes, the saxophone does appear later).

From “Lured by Knaves,” WRVTH transitions to my favorite song of the album, “Forlorn.” Much how “Harrowing Winds” acts as a microcosm to the album as a whole, “Forlorn” mixes the various styles of the album into a single track. The juxtapositions between the song’s parts give it a heightened urgency. “Forlorn” shifts from guttural pining to incorporeal beauty at the drop of a hat.

Harrowing Winds sets itself in sort of a reprise for the last quarter of the album. Showing off their tech-metal chops, WRVTH takes the themes of the beginning of Harrowing Winds and pushes them further–intersplicing their guitar magic with heavy-palm mutes (reminiscent of The Devil Wears Prada) and vocals with sub-bass overdubs. As the album concludes, it becomes even more apparent that WRVTH mixes brooding atmospheres with absolutely crushing breakdowns with technical acumen that is unmatched.

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