Country : United States
Genre : Experimental Black Metal
Label : Fragile Branch
Release Date : May 26th, 2017
Even if black metal sometimes tends to emphasize the niche aspect, especially from a technical point of view, it is rare to see fringe projects remain faithful to the ideals of the genre. In general, when one moves too far from one’s own home, one ends up joining another, sometimes quite different. This is the case with a good part of experimental groups and projects, whose compositions precisely come to undermine the essence black metal initially present in their music. Let us now stop this indigestible logorrhea. Fortunately, some artists prove that experimentation does not prevent them from remaining faithful to a particular genre.
For any group in the metal wavelength, the music will be composed and played using one or two guitars, a bass, drums, accompanied by vocals, whatever their characteristics. Yes but no. Some bands choose to duplicate this kind of futile repetition, and Wreche initially appears to be one of them. The American duo is preparing to release its first album via the label Fragile Branch, and the least we can say is that we do not really know what to expect. And yet, leaning a little more on the music of the duo, one realizes, not without some surprise, that the guitar and bass are traded for a piano. Yes, a piano. We know what you think, but think again, the astute association is worth the detour. It is worth even more than that.
After an introduction to the piano punctuated by squeaks as useless as unpleasant, all the majesty of Wreche can express itself. For the moment, the grip on the listener is absolutely complete. The poor spectator, assailed on all sides by these sounds both charming and surprising, who is hypnotized by the frantic rhythm of the fingers traversing the keys of the piano, knows not what to think. It is impeccably fascinating to note that the piano blends perfectly with the themes the duo wants to spread. Borrowed from old English, the word wreche refers to great misery or deep distress. And even if Wreche’s music shows impressive distinction and grace, it is true that it also produces some form of melancholia.
The whole thing is very well supported by the scrawled vocals of John S. Morgan, although a bit distant, who is simultaneously busy pounding the poor piano keys. The music of Wreche emanates a certain prestige, even a very pure form of magnificence – far from the dirty and occult productions that we usually see in black metal. There is no doubt, by what it inspires and by the message of discomfort that it intends to pass, the music of Wreche belongs indeed to the register of black metal, as the purists say. Guitar or not, Wreche is black metal.
The rhythm and play of John S. Morgan’s piano is sometimes maddening, and confirms that we are now listening to an extreme metal album. The rhythm and style of the drums, artfully done by Barret Baumgart, becomes more and more captivating throughout the album. It is incredibly frustrating that the album is endowed with only half an hour of music, proving that Wreche has struck a massive blow. Like a melancholy symphony, the melody of the duet, at once sweet and impetuous, falls with the force of a hammer, but caresses with the delicacy of a feather. A striking contrast for a moving album.
Within a contested genre that is sometimes only a parody of itself, a breath of fresh air such as this can serve as a real renewal. For their entry into the heart of the black metal scene, Wreche prompts us to question the relationship black metal maintains with the vast world of music, and especially its relationship with classical music. You would often laugh when you heard some black metal fans declaring their love for Wagner’s or Chopin’s music, mainly because they are two of the most beloved composers in the world. Perhaps it is also because these two branches of music are less distant from each other than what you have believed until now.
Finally, Wreche does not intend to revolutionize, nor even to incite controversy. Simply by using a benign technical choice at first [drums & piano], they give their music an extraordinarily vast dimension, perhaps as vast as the music itself. Sadly, the album is slightly “technical”, but when you see what the two Americans can do with a piano and drums, you resolve that talent is the only thing that is really coming through in this scenario. Wreche sublimates their vision of music to offer us a first album of colossal quality. A fantastic masterpiece.
Perhaps they do not yet know it, but the two artists have created something great with their first album. At the crossroads between subtle and emotional black metal, and modern and innovative piano melody, Wreche undermines half of the albums planned or already released for the year 2017. In terms of creativity, it will be tough to surpass the Americans. If Wreche remains faithful to their line of conduct, they will have an exceptional career. Meanwhile, enjoy their first album. Undoubtedly one of the outings of the year.