Wold, Freermasonry

I suppose I should preface this by stating that I've never been a big fan of Wold. Their older material has always had some strange appeal, but not so much that I'd go back to it over and over again. I could pretty much listen to it once, enjoy it enough, and then move on.

I guarantee that will not be the case with their new offering, Freermasonry, out now on Profound Lore. I've already played it now nearly a dozen times, and there is some sort of strange thrill I get every time I play it. The name of the game with Wold has always been noise, and there is of course lots and lots of noise here. Dense layers of blanketed, often indistinguishable, ramshackle noise are ever-present. Sometimes it even threatens to cross into HNW territory... but not quite. The screamed vocals are generally pretty horrific. They even sound pretty damned spastic and infantile at times, but to me, that's the appeal. At other times, the vocals are buried in the mix and add an almost psychedelic element. There's no complaining about the results - the vocals are the perfect complement to the aural violence of the music and noise.

There are some weirder, more surreal moments to the record.  The simple rhythms of  "Dry Love" and "Free Eyes" give off an almost post-punk feeling, but the tracks doesn't feel out of place at all. "Dry Love" almost acts as a centerpiece - when it's 3+ minutes come to a close, it's back to the noise, as a short and somewhat restrained feedback-attack introduces "Working Tools for Praris", which is probably the albums best song. Here, the vocals step to the forefront a little more, as they are higher in the mix. In its quieter moments (referring to the song and the album as a whole), which are few and far between, there is a subdued, meditative, almost ambient quality that envelopes the listener, drawing you into another world - a chaotic, apocalyptic world where very little seems reasonable and good sense is apparently a thing of the past - but you feel at home anyway.

I think this is the record I've wanted Wold to make for a long time. The black metal part of Wold is seemingly gone, and I think that's what makes this album so gratifying. I love black metal, of course, but I've never fully appreciated Wold's take on it. This record, though - this I can appreciate, and expect to be doing so for quite some time. Honestly, one of my favorite records this year.

Available now on its own, or in a package with Stratification and Working Together For Our Privacy at Profound Lore.


Finngálkn said...

Great review. I must admit I fell for Wold after hearing Screech Owl's blown-out take on black metal aesthetics. Since Wold was the first noise band I got into, I naturally started seeking more noise music and grew a taste for the electronics and ultimately the synthesizers of power electronics. Ever since the Social Pressure EP, Wold have been moving more and more into pure noise music and putting the electronics more and more on the forefront. The fact of the matter is that Fortress Crookedjaw does it very very well. Too well for me to join the choir of alienated Wold fans and cry for more black metal. The new Wold is too damn good for that.

Industrie Chimère Noire said...

I really liked «Work together...» and I am very curious to hear what he came up with on this new album...

Anonymous said...

would be so nice to have an audio clip here))))

stefan frederic walz said...

definetly the best album of 2011, too bad I didnt hear it until 2012...

I was explaining their sound to a friend, I told him its like The Hospitals, only satanic.

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