Album: No Rising Sun
Genre: Atmospheric Post-Metal / Post-Black Metal / Progressive Post-Metal
Review by Karl O’Shea
Californians WRVTH release their fourth and final studio album No Rising Sun through Unique Leader Records later this month. A band that have evolved not only in name (they were originally called The Wrath Of Vesuvius then Wrath Of Vesuvius before settling on their current moniker back in 2015) but in sound as well. Originally starting as something closer to technical death metal/deathcore, their final album sees the band further exploring the black metal and post-rock sounds originally introduced in their previous self-titled album.
According to the band, No Rising Sun is an album about the blood, sweat and tears involved in making a band work and the struggles faced as a musician. The passion is clear in the emotional blackened shrieks and the care taken with the arrangements and sound in these ten tracks. Credit is also due to Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker) who not only recorded No Rising Sun but was responsible for mixing and mastering as well.
What you’ll get musically is a modern blackened take on post-metal with progressive song structures, akin to acts such as Deafheaven, Alcest, Oathbreaker, and Møl. Though the band doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of pushing the genre forward, the album works as a blueprint for how to do this sound well. Considering their evolution over the years, it’s a shame that this is WRVTH’s final album. It would have been interesting to hear their progression and if they could break the mould established by the before mentioned bands.
Economical song-writing, crystal clear (yet not sterile) production and a liberal use of dynamic push-and-pull are this album’s winning qualities. Even in the 9 minutes of “Dust and Moonlight”, there’s not a moment wasted and no particular part drags on longer than it needs to, a common pitfall of post-metal that these Californians have deftly avoided. Furious speed-picking and blast beats sit comfortably next to cleaner and more subdued sections, ebbing and flowing like waves. You’ll also get moments of much doomier riffage along with some death metal sections that call on WRVTH’s past work. “Undertow” bucks the trend by serving as a kind of ballad with the first half utilising chiming guitars and some beautifully dreamy female vocals before exploding in a manner that’s more ecstatic than anguished. Other elements like piano and found sounds are flecked throughout the album but are never superfluous and sit comfortably in the dark atmosphere WRVTH have created.
It’s hard work being in a band and trying to make your voice heard, any musician who takes their craft seriously will tell you that. Whatever their reason for disbanding, it’s obvious that WRVTH endeavoured to stick to their guns until the very end to deliver their swansong. Whilst not ground-breaking, this is an album that will be lapped up eagerly by any music fan who loves blackened post-metal or blackgaze.
“No Rising Sun” will be released on the 23rd of August via Unique Leader Records
Visit WRVTH's Bandcamp page here - uniqueleaderrecords.bandcamp.com/wrvth
Watch the official video for "Eventide" below: