After a quick perusal of Wraith Productions newly opened Bandcamp page, I expected to write about Ptahil's hook laden take on rip and roll black metal on For His Satanic Majesty's Glory (which I remembered from Islander's enthusiastic review over at No Clean Singing). But to my surprise I discovered I needed some depressive, and very atmospheric French black metal in my life; hence Wolfshade - When Above...
The songs on When Above... take their cue from the ebb and flow of post-rock. Atmospheric passages lulls you with their almost ambient grooves, and is then punctuated by the genuinely tortured screams of Kadhaas. Stately riffs carries his desperate vocals (check out "Bene Elohim" at around 1:43 for a great example); the combination creates a beautiful tension, accentuated by the discrete orchestration and the heavy use of jarring cymbals in the programmed drums.
And yeah, those drums. Typically programmed drums are made to sound as real as possible. Here Wolfshade made no attempt to hide the fact, plus the production puts them pretty much in your face. The programming is intricate though, and the "programmed" sound (sometimes deliberately clunky like in "Le Réfugié des Passions") creates even more of that beautiful tension. Toss in stellar guitar work, with a few great leads, and a production that is both raw (the vocals and the drums) and warm (the rest of the music) and When Above... ends up a clear winner. As I said, I needed this is my life; check out if you do too.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]