Waves lap at distant shores. Delayed guitars wash over sparse ambient drones. A heartbeat hums its rhythm in solidarity… and is abruptly stopped. So begins the wild trip into Wormlust’s world of brilliant, melancholic and atmospheric black metal.
Wormlust is the vehicle of Iceland’s H.G. Lyngdal and one of contemporary black metal’s truly underrated talents. With only a smattering of demos and a split with Ireland’s Haud Mundis under his belt thus far, 2010’s offering, Svarthol continues to promise of more genius to come.
Svarthol is 16 minutes and 37 seconds of mind-bending and nauseating experimentation. The peaceful introduction gives insight into the moments of beauty that Wormlust are all too capable of creating, but the quiet is soon shattered by waves of atonal and warped distortion, while an eerie slide guitar slices through the cacophony. Wormlust weaves between full on assaults and oppressive ambience with ease, often descending into complete silence.
These moments of respite place a narrative of sorts over the proceedings, guiding the listener through different stages of Lyngdal’s personal hell. That’s almost exactly how it feels to behold Svarthol; this is not an uplifting experience at any rate. The whispered murmurings of a madman scrape over a composition that musters bewilderment, frustration and pure malevolence. While this is by no means a ‘depressive black metal’ release, it does want to drag you into the depths of melancholy. But moments of fleeting anthemic beauty do rear out of Wormlust’s vortex of sound, all the more exciting when your ears catch hold of one.
This has to be heard to be believed. A fucking brilliant release, I am all aboard the hype train and hope that we are treated to more of Lyngdal’s aural insanity VERY SOON.
The cover is a work of art in itself as well.