Heaven That Dwells Within PROSTHETIC
Vancouver’s fearsome black/crust unit rage for the ages
Canada’s Wormwitch are only two albums in to their career yet their music is so assured that it belies their relative youth. Their melding of black metal aesthetics with crust’s d-beat rhythms makes Heaven That Dwells Within a punchy record that starts off strong and only gets better. Wormwitch’s songs are melodic where it counts – the massive guitars of Vernal Womb are sublime – and deliciously combative when needed during Benighted Blade. In vocalist Robin Harris the band have a voice that is rife with spite and throughout he rarely pauses for breath, the words coming in furious waves and immersing the music in hostility. Midnight Sun pushes forward on churning guitars that lead into the calmer waters of Dancing In The Ashes before Lord Of Chains destroys all in its path with tightly controlled rage. ■■■■■■■■■■
FOR FANS OF: The Secret, Black Monolith,
the Lord High Chiefs
Of Fucking Up – a band with a superhuman capacity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They have the talent, the tunes and a hotline to the gods of rock’n’roll, which they’ve pissed away in a demented soap opera of drug-wazzocked self-sabotage. They have their negative side too, but that’s another story.
is their first album in 10 years, and the first to feature the classic Wildhearts line-up since 1997’s unlistenable It’s also the best thing they’ve made since their genius/batshit crazy debut, back in 1993. Actually, that’s not true. It might be better.
Hyperbole? Nah. Frontman Ginger is up there with the best songwriters these septic isles have ever produced, cramming more busting tunes and heartbreaking melodies into one song that most bands do in an entire career. Proof: opening track, which bollocks in on a city-chomping riff and Ginger’s phlegm-throated Geordie holler, then proceeds to let rip with not one but gold-plated choruses, each one better than the last. Or: which locates the sweet spot between AC/DC and the Ramones only to leave them both in the dust. And there are eight more of these gleaming, profane beauties, all equally brilliant.
There’s a death-or-glory mania to it all, which may or may not relate to Ginger’s recent mental health struggles (he was sectioned last year). There’s a darkness, too; let’s hope the line on is an exercise in catharsis, because the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.
The Wildhearts are a dial-up band in a fibre-optic broadband world, and couldn’t be more out-of-step with current trends if it tried. And that’s precisely what makes it so brilliant. Enjoy it while it lasts, because this is too good for them not to fuck it up again. ■■■■■■■■■■
FOR FANS OF: Motörhead, Ramones, Cardiacs
the Wildhearts: still living on the edge