Wrought Iron- Rejoice and Transcend

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, June 23, 2014

Pittsburgh black metal band Wrought Iron has been around for a couple of years now, and during that period of time they have released an EP and split with Dendritic Arbor while making a name for themselves around the East Coast with live performance. Now the group has prepared their debut full length Rejoice and Transcend, which hits hard in 35 minutes and merges black metal with some death metal sections and other influences that keeps it from feeling too similar to the other U.S. acts that fall within this genre. Despite the fact that the majority of Rejoice and Transcend goes full speed ahead and blasts away at the listener it doesn’t fall into the usual trap, instead managing to provide an abrasive mix with plenty of distinguishable moments.

Wrought Iron is first and foremost a black metal band when it comes to their instrumental work, but unlike so many of the U.S. based acts they don’t merely copy the European sound and call it a day. Instead, the band moves through harsh blast beat driven sections that have that abrasive black metal feel to them, only occasionally slowing down from their assault to let some of the ideas linger and build up tension. But despite the fact that they only let up for brief moments, this doesn’t mean that Wrought Iron has songs that all sound the exact same as underneath the wall of sound there are a lot of different things happening here. There are sections where the tonality shifts over to a more death metal influenced sound, as well as some other influences that keep Rejoice and Transcend feeling like a very versatile album. It did take me a few times through to pick out all of the specific details, but the first listen left a very strong impression as the violent, chaotic nature of the material fits my tastes quite well. My favorite track after listening to this one for the past few days is still “Danse Macabre,” as the way that the guitars break from the faster pace into the slower section grabs my attention every single time and that particular riff really got under my skin.

Vocalist Kenny Snyder is a definite asset for Wrought Iron, as he is able to move between a very high pitched shriek and low pitched guttural growl without losing any intensity in the process. His higher ranges have so much abrasion to them that they stand above the instrumentals and often sound like they’re going to tear your speakers to pieces. That’s one of the other elements that first caught my attention when I turned this release on, as there’s a level of energy present in this performance that not every black/death metal singer can match. The guttural lows also match the overall style the instrumentals are going for and help to provide some additional variation, keeping the vocal work just as versatile as the rest of the band.

Rejoice and Transcend is a strong statement from these guys, and their ability to add some death metal elements into the traditional black metal framework without turning into just another black/death group helps their material to stick with me. Wrought Iron initially impresses with the sheer level of power present in both their instrumentals and vocals, but after that first spin you’ll find there’s substance to go with it. Grimoire Records has another winner with this release, and I still have plenty more to explore from their roster as the year continues.

http://www.grimoirerecords.com/

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