WODE – Burn In Many Mirrors: Album Review

Manchester black-metallers WODE return and show the step up that they have made. Burn In Many Mirrors is a huge album, with one of the most dynamic metal sounds you are likely to hear this year.

Released:  2nd April 2021

Label: 20 Buck Spin

Format: Vinyl / CD / Digital / Cassette

Extreme metal band WODE were formed in Manchester in 2010 and are comprised of four very committed and talented metal musicians. On their new album Burn In Many Mirrors, they play some of the most sonically intense and musically adept black metal you are likely to hear this year. The band comprise of:

Michael Czerwoniuk – Vocals, Guitar, Synth & Keys

Daniel Shaw – Guitar & Backing Vocals

Tim Horrocks – Drums, Guitar, Synth & Keys

Edward Troup – Bass Guitar 

Prior to the pandemic WODE had built up a considerable live reputation, touring with bands like Winterfylleth and Wolves in the Throne Room. Their new album Burn In Many Mirrors, was recorded between March and August of last year by Joe Clayton at his Manchester NØ Studio, and mastered by the very excellent Magnus Lindberg  of Cult Of Luna. The sound and production as you might imagine is simply stunning. Comprising six tracks over forty minutes, it shows the band fully realising their musical potential, combining enveloping waves of blast beat driven black metal with a gift for melody and producing immersive and engaging soundscapes.

Lunar Madness is a fitting album opener, with an epic crashing keyboards and guitar introduction, segueing interestingly into more of a death metal mode, as some heavy riffing and fast paced drumming reveal an hypnotic groove to the music that is completely irresistible. The accompanying deep low growl of the vocals creates a spine tingling sense of strange and disturbing mystery.

Serpent’s Coil has musical resonances of the great Gaahl, and his work with Gorgoroth, God Seed and Gaahl’s Wynd. This is evident, in particular, in the impressive piercing range of the vocals and the undulating choral type structure to the song. Add to this musical palette some great melodic guitar flourishes, and the the compelling swing of the underpinning drum and bass rhythmic patterns, and you have an awe-inspiring slice of black metal at its best.

Fire in the Hills, opens with some atmospheric spiralling guitar work,  before charging into the type of metal song that will set off a raucous mosh pit and crowd surfing. It launches wave after wave of great guitar riffs and pounding drums interspersed with fast and rapid blast beat sections. It should become a live classic for the band when gigs can restart. You can listen to the track here.

It should be apparent now what an exceptional metal album this is, opening up an inspired blend and range of musical elements, that stretch the creative possibilities of black metal. Which is a link into jumping to the albums magnum opus the closing Streams of Rapture (I,II,III) clocking in at a wondrous nearly ten minutes of metal magic. The introductory passage is characterised by eerie synthesiser and tympani like percussive accents and has a definite cinematic feel not unlike a John Carpenter soundtrack. The full band then thunder in and the blast beats and guitars create a hurricane of sound, as the vocals provide a declaiming counterpoint to the maelstrom of heavy shattering sound. There is some very lyrical dual guitar motifs and guitar soloing that lift the song into symphonic metal musical territory. This musical suite is incredibly immersive and finds its visual equivalent in the very evocative cover artwork by Santiago Caruso.

This is without doubt a classic of a metal album, full of outstanding playing, composition and musical power, and should…if there is any justice.. propel the band forward to gathering a major fan base in the world of metal and beyond.

WODE: Bandcamp / Facebook / Instagram

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