Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Review: Wan – Antichristian Douchebags

Label: Fallen Temple / Corrupted Flesh Records

Date: February 25th, 2022

Talk about a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously, yes, this is the official title of the record. The previous one was called “Wan Way to Hell”, so that’s nothing all that new when it comes to these Swedish blasphemers. Furthermore, all of their full length records are made up of thirteen songs. A bit of a cringe, as the youngsters of today would call it.

But shouldn’t we all be tired of black metal bands acting like they couldn’t utter a smile even when their grandmothers offer them cookies? Oh, yes, black metal is a serious genre. It’s much more than music. It’s negativity personified. Devil worshippers with inverted crosses photographed at a local cemetery wearing corpse-paint. Fine, but must it always look like that? Not to mention that in most cases it ends up with boring music. Or, as the fans call it, cult / necro / grim black metal.

Wan keeps the imagery to a certain degree, but we’re talking about a quartet of down-to-Earth fellas one could easily imagine sitting in a local bar, having fun.

And their music is far from boring!

Precisely, they delve on the crossroad of first and second wave black metal. In other words, black metal with thrash intakes. Of course, nowhere near to reinventing the genre. Derivative? Sure, but why not? Cold and filthy? Absolutely, what’s wrong with that? Old school to the bone, and then some! The last track yells out: “We bring you back to the roots of metal”.

See? They’re proud of it! So, don’t sit back and relax. Stand up and bang the head until the brain oozes out through your nose.

Anyway, back to music itself and description of it. I won’t be long, I promise. There is not much to say about such a primordial music anyway. Surely you’ve heard it all before. Which is no reason not to try Wan out. Especially since they managed to create a fine album out of bits and pieces of old formulas.

The Swedes are incorporating all of the blinding fury of early Marduk, adding it on top of the primeval Venom worship. This way, they achieve a combo of various tempos that always seem aggressive and insulting to the crucified one. On the atmospheric side, when it is apparent (just a few selected cases), Wan could be tied to early Darkthrone or Burzum.

Naturally, Wan doesn’t go for instrumental mastery. Instead, the quartet is shooting for catchiness. Quite successfully, I might add, since the songs do tend to stick to your mind. Plus, they force you to headbang. Unless you are a poor reviewer that has to sit down and type.

Luckily, I’m not all that good, so I needed quite a few spins before I sat down. And I’m old, so my neck is aching like hell right now. Maybe I should better turn “Antichristian Douchebags” off and go lay down? Hell no!