One of the more unique acts to come from the underground in recent years, Wolfram from Serbia have finally released a debut album after teasing us with an EP in 2013. Music Of The Heathen is a clash of apocalyptic walls of noise and ethereal passages that, I believe, the band has become known for in their native Serbia.
Mixing ambient sounds and raw power this release is both a thing of beauty and a tale of urgency and survival. Opening track, On This Side of The Line, opens with a clean guitar voicing followed with the series of atmospheric doom riffs, and wonderfully accompanying vocals of Aleksandar Apic. Building up a crescendo of static noise, the song breaks before dropping into second track Music Of The Heathen. This continues in the same way as the opening tune, with greasy riffs that evolve around another run of voicing and spluttering chorus. Babel shifts from the guitar driven sound towards more ambient, synthesised vibe in the first part of the track, along with a line “People always hear what they want to hear.”
The album tracks also contain a number of guest vocalists what gives the feeling of diversity throughout the album. A Different Kind of Sleep, which features Dunja Dacic Dojo, is the strongest vocal performance on the album. Dunja’s voice is markedly both powerful and fragile, layered to counter pose the beautiful melodies and forceful high notes created with her voice.
Utilising synthesisers, bowed guitars, layering electronic tracks with a backing of crashing drums, Wolfram have created a sound which is hard to define. Blending the stringed influences of Sigur Rós with the heavier post-rock of Russian Circles, the band boast the talent to become the breakthrough Sigur Rós were in the 2000s.
Music Of The Heathen is a bold debut by a band that is look to push the boundaries of how we experience music. While we didn’t get to review the visual side to the physical release, this release does not disappoint.
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