Some albums just grab your attention don’t you think? I’ll readily admit to not having come across California’s Cardinal Wyrm previously but upon stumbling headfirst into the promo for new release ‘Cast Away Souls’, I was completely and utterly hooked. Now signed to Svart Records, a label that just seem to continuously manage to unearth new and innovative talent, and give it a worldwide window to be displayed from, the band are suddenly thrust upon a much wider audience.
If we have to talk musical genres, then I guess we see Cardinal Wyrm sheltering under the very wide umbrella of Doom but really, that doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. ‘Cast Away Souls’ is a pretty here, there, and everywhere kind of an album in many respects, full of thunderous and powerful riffs, mixed up with hypnotic and melancholic vocals, acoustics and even trumpet. An album that demands you shut yourself off from the rest of this crazy world and give it your fullest attention.
Opening track ‘Silver Eminence’ is a sludge drenched gem to kick things off with, that funeral paced riff thumping into your chest, before gathering pace to a fair gallop, taking you on a journey through chaotic and desolate landscapes, before ending abruptly and launching into my own personal favourite track ‘ The Resonant Dead’. An almost haunting track, with a subtle yet so effective female vocal giving an extra depth and dimension to the overall vibe, ending in a feverish crescendo that is just sublime.
The band have an envious ability to make every track sound so different to the previous, and yet keep the whole album connected by thin silvery threads of similarity. The difference between ‘Grave Passage’ and the sumptuously weird and wonderful ‘Lost Orison’ for example, could not be more pronounced even if you erected a huge neon sign, flashing the headline “These tracks are totally different!” but they just seem to work so well in the overall feel of the album. The epic (yes, I know that word gets used a lot) ‘Soul Devouring Fog’ is just stunning and, well, epic. An unapologetic romp through every Doom laden landscape that you can imagine, cascading with feelings of hopelessness and turmoil, if this doesn’t get your black cape quivering with excitement, nothing will. The albums closing track ‘After The Dry Years’ is best described as mesmeric, again able to conjure imagery and fuel the storytellers imagination, it is only equalled by a feeling of frustration, simply because there is nothing to follow.
If this album could be bottled, it would carry a warning label “Continued exposure to the substance herein may result in feelings of complete musical satisfaction.”
If you’re looking for a new musical adventure, then you could do a heck of a lot worse than pick this album, a real triumph from start to finish.
Recommended Track – The Resonant Dead
Track Listing ;
The Resonant Dead
Soul Devouring Fog
After The Dry Years
Cardinal Wyrm are ;
Nathan Verrill – Guitars, Vocals
Pranjal Tiwari – Drums,Lead Vocals
Leila Abdul-Rauf – Bass, Vocals, Trumpet
Cast Away Souls is released worldwide through Svart Records on October 14th