Whelm – A Gaze Blank And Pitiless As The Sun

Great and in some ways unexpected, this long-distance debut from Denmark’s Whelm, authors of doom sludge with desperately dark and intense traits. Although the Copenhagen band’s proposal is somewhat approaching the stylistic evolution of Process Of Guilt, just to provide an idea, it must be said, however, that compared to the Lusitanians the sound retains the heaviness and cadence typical of the most extreme and uncompromising fringe of doom. If the first two tracks are excellent but, all in all, respectful examples of the tradition, still capable of conveying that underlying restlessness that will be our faithful companion until the last note, it is with From The Trenches Of Perception that the record explodes into its darker side, charged to the point of unbelievable pain that mounts until it becomes a dulling rage, well described by the vocal alternation between the two guitarists Atli and Mikkel. Perpetual Blindness initially returns to the leaden territories of death doom only to plunge back into the vortex of the most caliginous post-hardcore and then leave room for the album’s longest track, Delphina La Laurie, in which, through the essential notes of a piano, rare moments of melancholy peep out, swept away abruptly by riffs capable of erecting thick walls of impenetrable darkness. A brief, dissonant instrumental track introduces the final twenty minutes of Ghosts In The Undergrowth and Event Horizon, which complete the work of psychic demolition of the listener, who, however, as if afflicted by a variant of Stockholm syndrome, will be eager to restart the work of their musical executioners all over again. A Gaze Blank And Pitiless As The Sun is a work that leaves no respite thanks to the absence of consoling moments: the drama of existence is well represented by the splendid and versatile use of the different voices; although coming from the same nation and acting, broadly speaking, within the same genre, Whelm place themselves at the antipodes of Saturnus from the point of view of approach, yet managing to equal its quality while opting for sounds that are necessarily less immediate and slower to assimilate. Yet another great record to rub the noses of those who think doom is a stagnant musical genre.

2013 – Independent