With the release of last year’s beyond bizarre Working Together for our Privacy Canadian black metal/noise duo Wold appeared to have misplaced their minds. What really should have been some sort of haunting, spectral noise record was in the cold light of day just one sustained fog of static that was the ultimate challenge for anyone to take anything from it. But Badb, originally released in 2004 as a cassette demo limited to 100 copies, is more like it. It’s still challenging, with gale force noise shouting down Fortress Crookedjaw’s distended screams, black metal rat-a-tat and atonal scree. But it’s essential listening for anyone who finds Ildjarn too polite sounding or over-produced or too pop or something like that.
Badb is loosely speaking a concept album about a war goddess who took the form of a crow, and it does have that martial quality of real anti-everything, total nihilism at its empty, black heart. We can only hope that Wold find it in themselves to bring more of the black metal back into their sound, because with the winter and the distortion maxed out in the mix, they really have the power to be truly transcendent, spinning you into a deep bewildering nightmare.
Reissued on CD for the first time, replete with new artwork from Pippi Zornoza (who starred in cult horror flick Die you Zombie Bastards), Badb is available through Crucial Blast. All you hardy extremists planning for a super-serious necro winter with strictly no snowball fights or fun can order it here.