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The world could use more "mean" black metal. The harsh underground sounds evil, the goat worship sounds...goofy, and the majestic stuff sure sounds pretty, but the majority of black metal's aggression doesn't come off with a snide aura of, well, "meanness." Last year, Joseph put Wode's self-titled album in the greater pantheon of "blue cover black metal" albums, evoking a brazen aura similar to Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse and Immortal's At the Heart of Winter; chilling, anthemic and ancient. For their second album, this English band moved to a warmer end of the color wheel, shedding their cloudy past in favor of angry, sinewy strength. And it is mean.

Bursting forth with a charred, red fury, Wode's furious "Temple Interment"'s spitting, snarling rage hurls their sound into new, albeit still "old" territory. Utilizing a stronger death metal presence, Wode definitely takes more cues from Sacramentum this time around, there is an expected sense of muscular pummeling, but, rather than the wanton destruction of death metal's strength, M.C. and T.H.'s dual vocal attack exudes specific intent. This attack is centered, and Wode is closing in with taunting hubris. Though their lyrics speak of cosmic apocalypse, Wode's newfound attitude doesn't speak to black metal's world-ending obsession. Instead, they look down their noses at you and sneer, finding the perfect way to make you feel like utter trash. Wode is back, and they are mean.

Avantgarde Music will be releasing Servants of the Countercosmos on May 31st, and vinyl pre-orders are still active (act fast, pre-orders come with free international shipping)! Head below for an exclusive first listen of the blistering "Temple Interment".

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Follow Wode on Bandcamp and Facebook.

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