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Wicked King Wicker - "Wicked King Wicker I" (Vinyl)

Wicked King Wicker - "Wicked King Wicker I" Vinyl cover image

"Wicked King Wicker I" track listing:

1. Faith Through Fear
2. Through a Soul, Darkly
3. Often Referred To (But Never Seen)
4. Don't Go In The Woods

Reviewed by on December 30, 2010

"WKW has been making a buzz in the noise underground scene, as well as many facets of doom, stoner and metal."

Emerging from upstate New York comes the innovation of blackened noise that is known as Wicked King Wicker, a duo consisting of Jim Gibson and Logan Butler. WKW has been making a buzz in the noise underground scene, as well as many facets of doom, stoner and metal. Noise is a difficult genre to get into, but WKW’s first release is a good lesson in what noise is. There are two songs on each side of the disc, and all are layered with noise. But if you listen intently, you can hear the music beneath.

Their debut LP, originally released on Noiseville Records and known as WKW I, displays a haunting tree album cover with a red saturated hue that would ultimately become the visual for this music of the macabre. "Faith Through Fear" ejects the listener into a dark ambient setting filled with low frequency notes, distorted feedback and tortured snarls and chanting. "Don't Go In the Woods" follows up this dark projection with bass-crushing noise piercing through panned static and decayed layers of drone. "Often Referred To (But Never Seen)" showcases the band's blackened styling and diversity, right down to the demonic screams, while the rhythmic misanthropy takes over and leaves you in a hypnotic trance. "Through a Soul, Darkly" moves from this ambiance and into a more aggressive direction, shaping the end of this journey with sheer terror.

Fans of Bloodyminded, Merzbow, blackened noise, and drone will enjoy this release. It offers a texture and creative twist that is enough to enthuse noise fans alike, but also capture listeners beyond said genres if they allow themselves to be lost within WKW's sonic burial.

Highs: Creepy chants and bleak guitar give a scary atmosphere to the music.

Lows: Not a casual listen. It's dense and demands attention.

Bottom line: "Wicked King Wicker" has good musical elements under the drone.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)