I've come to rely on a certain level of quality from Grimoire Records releases. Rejoice and Transcend, the debut full-length from Wrought Iron doesn't disappoint in that regard. It's just as black and unyielding as you'd expect from a band with such a name.
The band doesn't use that iron to build fences however. While firmly based in the black metal realm, they open the gates to other influences as well. Tracks like “White Death” and “Brine” in particular call upon the energies of grind and Swedish death metal to extend their reach around the listener and squeeze for all they've got.
Razor sharp guitars and dynamic percussion anchor a sound that blends both second wave black metal and USBM with the aforementioned styles creating an album that avoids the pitfalls of simply slashing and burning for the entire run time.
For the most part, Rejoice and Transcend is harsh as sandpaper and comfortable in the upper reaches of the BPM spectrum. But they're not afraid to bring things down a notch. “Revelation and Awakening” especially reveals a decidedly less harsh facet through a slower tempo and melodies amongst the battering.
Throughout, no matter the speed or level of sonic evisceration, the vocals remain steadfast in their ability to terrify. Callous black metal shrieks and feral death metal roars reach out from the darkness and grip the listener in an icy embrace. It's those sewer-fed and blood-curdling vocals that hold the album in the clutches of black metal.
Wrought Iron are scathing and violent, carpet-bombing the listener with scorching rhythms and grinding blasts, but not without enough tempo changes and mood shifts to keep your attention. Rejoice and Transcend is a dense and layered album equally content to roll like thunder or send shards of broken glass swirling through the ether. Wrought Iron have captured a nice balance between a bleak and evil Scandinavian flavour and its more brutal US counter. Feel the anguish. Feel the terror. Rejoice and Transcend.
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