Lorraine Rath and Jessica Way initiated a mystical journey with Worm Ouroboros, blurring the lines between doom metal, post-rock, neo-folk and dark ambiance, attempting to create music that is as powerful as it is otherworldly. Releasing their debut album in 2010, they were soon joined by drummer Aesop Dekker, whose first contribution came in the band's sophomore record, Come The Thaw.
The journey continues now with What Graceless Dawn, with the band capitalizing on their early vision. The word “dawn” in the title possibly refers to the start of the record with “Day,” and its ending with “Night,” two opposing entities that build the circular nature of the record. This lyricism and graphic element is spread through the band's music, and the use of certain influences aids in enhancing this characteristic.
Even though there is a definite doom element hovering over the band's vision, its spirit has been tamed. The weight of the genre is not there, but the melodic element and the sense of melancholy, alongside the predisposition towards ritualism are all signs of its effect. This calming of the beast has been aided by the neo-folk element, and the post-rock approach. While doom, sludge and post-rock combinations are definitely common, the band's take on them remains quite novel.
This originality is brought tho the stage with the neo-folk aspect. Alongside a dark ambient sense of minimalism, the band achieves to turn the album into an otherworldly sensation, moving through acidic guitar lines to hazy sceneries, never letting psychedelia take over, but always close enough to feel its fuzzy fumes. It moves the record towards an '80s dream pop sense, not so much the dreamy world of Cocteau Twins, but rather in its nightmare-ish reflection. The vocals at the center of the production further allow this attitude to flourish, having also this marvelous effect of making the sound appear more retro than it is, as parts of “Ribbon of Shadow” suggest.
It is a work of patience and full of feeling that Worm Ouroboros present, and that is shown so greatly in the structure of their work, taking their time, building slowly towards the peaks of the tracks, almost letting themselves get lost in the process. It feels like a post-rock concept, however the manner in which they are able to channel elements from their doom mentality, as is the case with the few outbreaks, the minimalistic tendencies, reminiscent of quality chamber music (Rachel's come to mind,) and even moments when it seems as if they are going into improvisations, is what is really overwhelming. Apart that all these are daring moves, the outstanding point is that it all feels so natural for this trio.
8.0 / 10
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