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Inhale The Void

FDA Rekotz (2013)
Rating: 7.5/10

“Who are Wound?” I hear you ask. Well, they are a German death metal combo comprised of vocalist Schettler, guitarist Last, bass player Schulz and drummer Appel.

Despite their rather bland moniker – after all, there are quite a few bands of the same name within varying musical genres – they belt out rather effective metal which boasts a black metal style of vocal yelp, that doubles up with a few deathly grunts. Musically it’s quite wholesome in its weight, combining technical structures with a very European buzz, not too dissimilar to some of the Swedish bands we’ve come to know and love.

I must admit that a lot of modern death metal tends to pass me by, but Wound have a lot going for them, especially with that grating guitar sound and their ability to shift between tempos. There is also a lot of atmosphere on Inhale The Void, the band’s debut full-length album, which comes hot on the heels of their 2012 demo, Confess To Filth – Demo MMXII. And when you consider that these guys only formed in 2011, you can’t help but be impressed by what they’ve offered first time round.

Album opener ‘Odium’ is simply an atmospheric black metal-styled soundscape of weird effects, sombre guitars and vocal sneers, but the attack becomes very serious with the chainsaw riffage of ‘Codex Arcanum’, which has a real effective chug about it. At times there is a feel of early Darkthrone circa Soulside Journey (1991), in some of the more grey-laced guitars, but for the most part it’s extremely catchy yet extreme with those double-tracked vocals and pounding drums.

‘Echoes’ is similarly brutal, making its presence known as a fuzzy riff and hurtling drum. Schettler’s vocals aren’t unique, far from it, but he’s certainly got a set of iron tonsils on him as his range shifts between black metal rasps and deep, guttural bellowing.

Although Inhale The Void is a bulky affair, it never becomes cumbersome and neither does it resort to blast-beats in order to explore extremity. The faster numbers, such as ‘The Unsolved Obscurity’ and ‘Forever Denial’ are probably the weakest tracks on the album, adopting a strong black metal feel. But the band shine more so with the slower, more ominous cuts such as ‘Corroded From Within’, which is still pacey yet injects a few, arrogant riffs and engulfing grooves with Schettler once again altering the vocals when required.

‘Among You’ is equally effective with an absolutely killer riff and blackened bass, and again mixes frothing ferocity with far darker, slower changes. It’s my favourite track on the album, and it is in good company as ‘The Prince Of Tyranny’ slips in on a grunge-styled groove and Schettler cough before it gets its kicks from another massive riff and a chesty bawl.

The album’s closing title track is simply an almost wistful three-minute acoustic that leads us into the black pit of silence, and only then does the wound heal… until the next listen.

Inhale The Void is an impressive debut album from a band worth keeping watch over. Top notch album cover too.

Neil Arnold

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