Woods of Desolation
Toward the Depths


4.5
superb

Review

by Simon Harris (SCREAM!) USER (56 Reviews)
October 10th, 2010 | 147 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A haunting and unique experience in black metal music

Black metal is usually associated with dark forests, cold landscapes, snow and all that other mumbo jumbo. It isn’t hard to see why as the thin production and fuzzy sound of the genre can easily bring up images of raging blizzards in a northern land. Not exactly the words you would use to describe Australia. But somehow, the Australian band Woods of Desolation has crafted a sound that rivals that off any European or North American band.

The band instantly sets itself apart by not relying on rapid, fuzz laden tremolo picking. The whole album is played at a medium/slow pace and crafts its cold ambience with the use of reverb drenched major and minor chords. The use of whole chords rather than power chords gives the album a full, atmospheric sound without the need of too much distortion or layering with the reverb taking care of giving the chords their extra dense sound that can totally captivate the listener and hold him in tighter than the usual distortion. The whole sound seems to echo around the listener with or without headphones on and, when combined with the dark, dense beauty of the full chords, has a totally mood altering effect.

The other area that Woods of Desolation succeed greatly in is the vocal department. The shrieks are harsh and have an almost growl-like guttural quality to them but while still clearly remaining in the black metal scream territory. They are remarkably executed, giving off a pained, despairing feeling that matches the music perfectly but the true beauty of them lies in the mixing. They aren’t buried so deep as to be unintelligible (on the contrary, they are very easy to hear) but they have just enough sound over them to give the vocalist the feeling that he has try and effort himself to be heard clearly, adding more despair and desolation to the music and when combined with the guitars, making this the modern gem that it is.

Woods of Desolation set themselves apart on their first full length release and anchor themselves as a band to watch out for in the modern black metal scene. The group crafts a sound that is instantly recognizable and unique but while managing to maintain the raw emotion that is crucial to the genre. Toward The Depths in an experience that needs to be lived by any and all fans of the genre.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SCREAM!
October 10th 2010


10207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fvck yeah

rasputin
October 10th 2010


14550 Comments


goddamn it are you people ever going to stop ruining my favourite bands

you're disguising it a little but your review is essentially 'the vocals sound like this the guitars sound like this, they go this fast and there's drums this is modern black metal'

SCREAM!
October 10th 2010


10207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

im sorry i hadnt realised my review was going to change the sound of their music

Hawks
October 10th 2010


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review dude. Really good album. Gotta give it another listen.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2010


7311 Comments


I don't understand Rasputin's comment lol. As in, what's wrong with saying 'the vocals sound like this the guitars sound like this, they go this fast and there's drums this is modern black metal'?

SCREAM!
October 10th 2010


10207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Although i do see what you mean rasp, i think it deserves a little more credit than that since i did describe the effect each has on the overall sound and atmosphere of the album

rasputin
October 10th 2010


14550 Comments


I don't understand Rasputin's comment lol. As in, what's wrong with saying 'the vocals sound like this the guitars sound like this, they go this fast and there's drums this is modern black metal'?


lol are you being serious

SCREAM!
October 10th 2010


10207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

was that to me or irving

edit: nvm you specified now

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2010


16434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hmmmm

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

rasputin
October 10th 2010


14550 Comments


Although i do see what you mean rasp, i think it deserves a little more credit than that since i did describe the effect each has on the overall sound and atmosphere of the album


you stick to a very generic structure that isn't interesting to read at all

the reason i point this out is because reading this review makes it feel like you're dumbing the band down, despite your rating and supposed praise

stuff like the introduction is awful - could you have written a more hawks-influenced broad introduction? and i dont really know if you know, but the WoD's style is particularly modelled on the australian climate and terrain. a simple look at at nearly all of their album covers gives this away

The band instantly sets itself apart by not relying on rapid, fuzz laden tremolo picking.

the entire album is of fuzz laden tremolo, and if you think this sets it apart then yeah i dunno

the whole paragraph about the vocals is just misguided - so much of the vocals are buried. have you even listened to it?

yeah these criticisms are really stupid but it's late i'm bored and i dont like your review

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2010


16434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

could you have written a more hawks-influenced broad introduction?


haha

Hoping their new album will be excellent, judging from the myspace tracks it will be. This didn't really need a review (just like the Ash Borer demo, though that wasn't you) but yeah

Hawks
October 10th 2010


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck you guys.

rasputin
October 10th 2010


14550 Comments


yah i dont mean to come off like an arsehole because that's just the way i am, maybe my arrogance will force you to write better and that way i won't spend all night having to listen to WoD to feel better instead of finishing my paper that's due tomorrow

Fuck you guys.


seriously dude, everyone starts off shit, i wrote a plethora of shitty reviews (and i still do) but i certainly didn't write the same review but with a different title for 3 years

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2010


16434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you could easily do both, write and listen

rasputin
October 10th 2010


14550 Comments


you could easily do both, write and listen


too raspewin' to write

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2010


16434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i wrote a plethora of shitty reviews


Yeah same here, look at pretty much all of my reviews before my Vertebrae one, they're a wad of pretentious poo.

rasputin
October 10th 2010


14550 Comments


because i don't like protest the hero

jingledeath
October 10th 2010


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

band rules but sorh is betteterter

ffs
October 10th 2010


4880 Comments


dare ye walk mongst the woods ov desolation? nary a traveller who'n enter thar do'st return

props to them for not actually writing of as ov though if a thing was that cliche some church somewhere might have burned down

SCREAM!
October 10th 2010


10207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"the entire album is of fuzz laden tremolo, and if you think this sets it apart then yeah i dunno

the whole paragraph about the vocals is just misguided - so much of the vocals are buried. have you even listened to it?"

What i meant by that is that the band seems to use the reverb more as the tool to build the atmosphere than the fuzz itself as opposed to most other BM. Also i find the speed the chords are playing kind of slow to be called tremolo.

As for the vocals i clearly said that they are easy to spot (reread the paragraph its written in plain view) but at the same time they dont sound completely at the forefront and i was simply trying to describe the feeling i get when listening to the album.



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