Essence Of The Land
01. Diabolical Being
03. Phantoms In The Mist
04. Tainted Heart
The different timespans it takes for an album to really show all it’s colours can be quite interesting within the metal world. In a genre of music where intensity is the bottom line and the starting point for everything, it’s odd that some records can take a decent amount of time to unfurl all those gnarled and twisted roots that make up the basis of their sound. Slayer‘s Reign In Blood and Emperor‘s Prometheus are both timeless records, that embody this duality perfectly — both classics, whose nuances have been praised time and time again, but where one puts it all on the table instantly and rages for thirty minutes straight, the other twists and turns through idea after idea, never quite revealing everything.
Warforged‘s debut EP, Essence Of The Land, is a record that understands that quality perfectly.
Spanning four tracks and fifteen minutes, Essence Of The Land is the Pandora’s box of death and black metal that just refuses to close. ‘Diabolical Being‘ opens with brooding and dark strings and acoustic guitars, weaving a bleak atmosphere, before it descends suddenly into surging blackened death metal in the blink of an eye, bringing to mind the sort of music that would lie happily at the halfway point between Behemoth and Fallujah.
The following two tracks, ‘Regurgitate‘ and ‘Phantoms Of The Mist‘, make up the main body of the work in both time and tricks. The former features a searing guitar solo from Brody Uttley of fellow death metal upstarts Rivers Of Nihil, surrounded by punishing riffs and inhuman growls that conjure images of turgid swamps and the horrors that lie within, while the latter is horrifyingly heavy climax that ramps the black metal atmosphere to new peaks, with off-kilter riffs and a delicate piano passage to lull the listener into a false sense of security.
It’s hard to pin point exactly why Warforged are managing to put together such convincing and captivating work, even on their first proper release. Maybe it’s their insistence on taking influence from all realms of death metal, with progressive, blackened and technical ideas all slotting in seamlessly with their sound — never quite revealing their full hand and always promising that little bit more. And as the dying notes of the atmospheric closer ‘Tainted Heart‘ fade away, you’ll find yourself wanting to explore the hidden depths of the swamp once again.
Warforged’s Essence Of The Land gets…