Welcome to the Wednesday Sludge!
This week I’m sharing a new album that’s pretty different than most of the bands I’ve shared with ya’ll. Duluth’s Ire Wolves latest record, Heirs, comes with the crushing sludge we love, but with a layer of mist and darkness surrounding it. While there is plenty of that thick churning guitar noise, the use of distortion here creates an aura of dread that establishes an auditory sense of environment. The entire record makes for terrific use of instrumentation both light and heavy that breathes with emotion.
Take songs like “The Beguiling Serpent”, starting off with a sonic, cold, distortion. That chill feeling of isolation washes over the listener, as the song eventually drops into those crunchy sludge moments. The sludge here isn’t necessarily your typical groove from acts like Eyehategod, but balances that sound with an air of melody. “Boned Marrow” is one of the album’s most groove driven tracks, throwing in a touch of madness like something out of Gorguts. The vocal work is utterly savage, as instrumentation shifts from light atmosphere, to darkening heft. That environmental sense is familiar to acts such as Agalloch, and helps for those droning sections to come with more of an emotional strength. “Nothing Left” carries forward like a great fog with a rage lurking within. The sense of distance and pain screams out, as guitar notes shift from bright notes, to crushing down like a metallic bite.
Ire Wolves is perhaps the most progressive sludge band to make in on this column (at this time). The music ranges from a variety of sounds and feelings in its wicked sludge, along with its environmental doom. All of this together creates a unique band in Ire Wolves. These guys take those elements of groove and melody, and expand them to a magical terrain. The auras that the music gives off comes with a power to send physical vibes over the listener, having them drift away in wonder.
Stream Heirs below in full, and keep an eye on Ire Wolves via Facebook for upcoming shows.