Wormwitch’s second album, 2019’s ‘The Heaven That Dwells Within’, was a revelation to me. While, on the surface, they weren’t the first to do what they were doing, for me this was the first time I’d heard someone make black metal sound so melodic. Of course I now see beyond that day one analysis, and readily admit Wormwitch are far more unique than that.
While these Canadians make music that bears a lot of the hallmarks of black metal – harsh vocals, sinister guitars, blast beats for days – it’s made much heftier, with a thrashier feel and even the odd guitar solo. The oft-brittle feel of black metal is replaced with a heavy metal heft. It puts Wormwitch in a fascinating spot to my ear, where they’re walking a fine line between a level of accessibility and maintaining a still decidedly extreme sound.
A few months ago, the band released their follow up album, ‘Wolf Hex’, and it picks right up where the previous album left of, continuing their growth into modern black metal legends. ‘Wolf Hex’ actually leans a little harder back into the raw black metal sound, and the result is all the more thrilling for it.
This time, the brilliant melodic elements and big riffs are still front and centre, but with a much harder bite behind them. If the last album managed to coax a few thrash fans into more extreme waters, ‘Wolf Hex’ is them sneakily turning up the heat.
Because you’re already here, you came for a thrashy black metal beast, and you’re going to get that in spades. Because this is what Wormwitch do, and they’re the fucking best at it.