The Wretched End – “In These Woods, From These Mountains” (Indie Recordings)
Made up of the fiery alliance of Emperor/Zyklon guitarist Samoth, Mindgrinder/Windir guitarist/vocalist Cosmo, and Dark Funeral drummer Nils Dominator Fjellstrom, The Wretched End is the next extreme metal supergroup making its mark yet again this year! By no means a new collaboration having released an EP as far back as 2010, Samoth and Cosmo’s relationship began even earlier in death punk band Scum (also featuring former Emperor drummer Bard Faust, Turbonegro’s Happy Tom, and Amen’s Casey Chaos) but The Wretched End is a ferocious yet classy post black / death mix on an intense level along the lines of Keep Of Kalessin. Propelled by Fjellstrom‘s breathtaking drum work, Samoth and Cosmo conspire to invoke some of the darkest and most mind bending riffs that reach into the soul to climatic conclusion, whether in a disturbed emotional state or pure aural bliss! As if the frenzied, yet technically intricate musicianship was enough to awe, the massive atmospheres and ensuing captivation make this 3rd album compelling listening as stark as Kim Sølve’s (Ulver, Arcturus, Enslaved) cover. In fact, despite being a supposed DIY affair, Samoth and Cosmo manage to draw in Attila Csihar (Mayhem, Tormentor), who lends a hand on ‘Old Norwegian Soul‘, a richly decadent piece unashamedly reveling in its dark majesty, while Leprous vocalist/keyboardist Einar Solberg and Red Harvest’s LRZ contribute on the band’s unexpected adaptation of Bel Canto’s ‘Dewy Fields’, a dark adaption of the Norwegian duo’s dream synthpop! For me ‘The Decline And Fall’ with its slow, drawn out dark melodies spectacularly contrasting with a menacing, blast beating back drop or going one step beyond in ‘Burrowing Deep‘ with trippy vocal harmonies added to give an almost prog feel prove that only a sliver of the highest quality talent like The Wretched End can turn extreme music into dark beauty and ultimately, pure art.