For nearly a decade now, selfsame mainman Wulkanaz – mastermind Wagner Ödegård (aka Komulonimbus) – has pursued a singular, idiosyncratic vision of black metal across myriad demos, EPs, and splits. WULKANAZ’s three albums to date, however, have been become cult classics among the diehards brave enough to behold the mainman’s visions, and those visions have reached a fever pitch with the band’s new self-titled album.
Unrepentantly raw yet passionately played by Ödegård and session drummer Daniel Rockmyr (ex-Craft), Wulkanaz is a malevolently swirling, frequently bewildering plunge into the depths of madness. Black metal undoubtedly forms the base, but WULKANAZ here exude an acute punkishness in approach, bolstered by eerie folkish melodicism more often than not. With songs stripped down to the barest-of-bones minimalism, delivered in rapid-fire succession – only one track of the 15 comprising Wulknanaz exceeds thirty minutes (and even then, just barely) – this violently stark schematic nevertheless feels fleshed out and full, each song saying exactly what it needs to and then moves on to the next. Further, Ödegård is also an astute noise musician and here incorporates unsettling dark ambient textures in a most mysterious way, giving the album an even more unique totality.
Proto-Germanic, pro-battle, pro-madness, WULKANAZ’s self-titled album is the short, strange trip you so desperately need!
Helter Skelter / Blood Harvest, USA 2029.