Abaddon magazine

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Friday, September 17, 2021

Review: Wratheon – Black Thrash Mass

Label: Self released

Date: March 26th, 2021

Wow! Just wow! A young US band with quite a strong statement contained right in the name and title of the debut EP. But that’s just about it. I’m literally baffled about how to present this band so that it doesn’t crush all the hopes and dreams of the one individual behind this creation.

Consider it a debut? Okay, sure, some stuff might just be forgivable with the lack of experience. Even if there’s a number of debuts coming out almost every day, on a much higher level than Wratheon delivers.

First of all, the cover artwork is dreadfully unimaginative. Foggy forests could depict the freezing chill of black metal. Only, I think we’ve all seen our fair share of such photos embellishing all kinds of releases throughout the history of the genre. Not to mention that black metal is just a small fraction of music brought to the world by Wratheon. Yes, despite the EP’s title.

Speaking of the title, thrash is an ever-present factor on “Black Thrash Mass”. With that being so, the thrash metal performed here is quite melodic. Bordering on diving into melodic death metal. The contemporary Swedish kind. As for black metal, just fragments. Vocals mostly, and occasional slide down into the Watain-ish sonic wrath. But the third word from the title has completely vanished from these sixteen minutes long recording. Apart of the use of that cute organ in “A Fire Burns” and a couple of eerie moments elsewhere, there’s not even a hint of a black thrashing mass. The mentioned melodies make the music just way too colorful. And take that as a euphemism. I’m biting my fingers to the bone not to type “happy” instead.

Fortunately, there’s a bright side to this material. Should you dare to move past all of the above.

Wratheon’s music is fairly decent. A bit scattered around, for sure. It is evident this one-man project is on the quest for its own form of expression. However, it is also evident that there is enough talent here to produce quality. One cannot really judge negatively the creative effort on “Black Thrash Mass”. There are some very fine riffs involved. Melancholic at times, almost downright emotional, but at others very pissed off, angry, hate filled. Vocals are also on a high level. That voice has enough power to drive this band’s music.

So, consider it a debut? Consider it a swing and a miss. Still, potential on display, for sure. I do hope Wratheon finds a clear road and takes a firm step on the very next release.