Writhing Shadows // Writhing Shadows // Album Review
Residing from Birmingham (Alabama), Writhing Shadows is one of the recent bands within the new wave of death metal I have fallen in love with.
Their 2020 demo “The Devourment of God’s People” really caught me by surprise. In a landscape of bands trying to replicate the legendary 90s death metal sound these guys have it nailed.
With two follow up EPs “Flesh Magic of the Haruspex” & “Perverse Beasts of War” i could not wait to see what the band could do when it came to writing a full-length record.
On a side note, the band split release “Beneath the Blackened Clouds of War” with Wharflurch has two stellar Bolt Thrower covers & it’s worth giving it a listen. Both tracks live up to Bolt Thrower’s titan status.
Now in 2022, the band are releasing their self-titled full length.
Sometimes the self-titled album name can be a cop-out but not with Writhing Shadows.
The self-titled moniker here fits perfectly as the album is through & through Writhing Shadow. Nothing is left, the band give every little piece of themselves on this album & that’s why it’s so fantastic.
Eight tracks of unrelenting death metal. A tasty twenty-eight minute run time so it doesn’t stay its welcome but it does leave you wanting to hit the replay button!
The armoured tank that is “Warplust Contortions” opens the album.
Unstoppable in nature as the heavy guitar riff chugs in a brilliant rhythmic pattern while the drums blast alongside increasing the unrelenting power the band has.
As the peak & bridge section hits the band slows for a thumping bassline to kick in, leading the track into a slower riffing style. The guitars quickly follow & start of the heaviest sections in a track I’ve heard this year. The song is devastating.
Keeping up the intensity of “Valkyrie of Blood” is a bloody affair.
This track is a constant circle pit encourager. A shorter track but still as punishing as the track before. Closing out on some beautiful double-kick drumming that had my head bobbing.
The third track starts to show that Writhing Shadows aren’t just a one-trick pony. And this is why I think this album shines. Within “Void Cursed” there are some moments where the band flexes some other muscles. Like a hardcore inspired 2step verse section, the intro being very black metal & just generally the whole track has a different “vibe” it’s nice the band can keep the album interesting & not one level where other bands falter.
Adding another layer to the album “Born of Dying Stars” opens with an unnerving ambience while a clean guitar introduces the song’s main riff then slowly builds till climax.
The whole band wages war. The drums sound unparalleled on this track. The snare tone punches right through and cuts so well.
As well the destroying the whole band sonically is like a nuclear bomb. The perfect mix between that classic HM2 Swedish tone with the more attack quality of say, Bolt Thrower, Obituary & Disma.
The closing two tracks were featured on the band’s first demo & it’s great to see them perfectly fit with new songs & within the album.
Both songs “Devourment of God’s People” & “Empire of Rot” already were top tier but hearing them re-recorded adds even more heaviness & chaotic brilliance.
Writhing Shadows are doing it right. Just fantastic punishing death metal that is catchy, memorable & has some very surprising moments. And it’s by far my favourite death metal album of 2022!
If you love the current way of new death metal. Frozen Soul, Tribal Gaze, Undeath then this will be right up your alley. Just make sure you keep an eye on these guys. I see big things in the next coming years!
Writhing Shadows is out via Dawnbreed Records on 13th May 2022