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Sons Of A Wanted Man : Black Days Black Dust (EP Re-release)

Sons Of A Wanted Man's debut EP leaves you thinking a full-length follow-up would be pretty special.

Belgium's Sons of a Wanted Man may be relative newcomers to the metal scene, but with this lean 17-minute EP they waste no time in unleashing what is enough fury, pain, and vitriol to fill a lifetime. Perhaps even several lifetimes. The packaging and artwork on the cd and accompanying booklet is stark and monochrome; sparse, brooding images of isolation and decay that hint at the crushing Post-Metal sorrow that await inside. And from the outset the music is a ferocious burst of perfectly articulated suffering.

Opener, 'Dodenleer' goes straight for the throat in a brutal aural assault that is shocking in its immediate intensity. Vocalist Jan's voice is a broken roar of primal agony that is affecting and disturbing; the harsh, wounded scream of a soul in pain. Jarring, jagged guitar work with sparse arpeggiated riffs create a melancholy Post-Metal atmosphere that counterbalances the brutality; accentuating it, honing the hurt into something violent yet beautiful.

There are some changes of pace within the intense 17 minutes of 'Black Days Black Dust', but no filler: not a second is wasted. 'Meander', for instance, begins, as the title suggests, at a more meandering pace. It starts as more of a forlorn wander through an irresistibly bleak musical soundscape contrasting to the raging fury of the opener, and will draw you into its minimalist melancholia before finally unleashing a barrage of undistilled rage to pummel the senses. Full of twists and changes in direction, much like the feelings it expresses, it's a highly effective combination of gloomy Post-Metal and crust-laden Sludge aggression.

A further dimension is added with the use of clean vocal parts on the final two tracks. 'Thou Art Spiritless', perhaps the standout of the four tracks on the EP, demonstrates that Jan is equally effective in delivering harsh and clean vocals. The man can really sing, and when he does, albeit it is only for perfectly timed brief spells, it serves to accentuate the power of the harsher passages. With an absolutely gargantuan riff, and some 1000 mile an hour bursts of savage, primal pain, and anger, 'Thou Art Spiritless' packs a bruising emotional punch that Gennady Golovkin would be proud of.

Despite its relative brevity, this is an EP with plenty of content; lyrically and musically there is a lot going on here. More content, in fact, than some releases two or three times its modest duration. 'Black Days Black Dust' is a perfectly weighted balance of brooding, cerebral Post-Metal and the unbridled, at times almost unhinged, rage of full-on Sludge Metal complementing each other in a mashup of metal misery. When the end comes and the title track draws to a close, it does so with shocking abruptness; no winding down, no final scream, no slowly diminishing feedback. Just a sudden, unexpected deathly silence; a stark, brutal ending that leaves the listener wanting more. Based on this release, when that time comes, it will be something pretty special.

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Reviewer's rating: 9.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Dodenleer
2. Meander
3. Thou Art Spiritless
4. Black Days Black Dust

Duration : Approx. 17 minutes

Visit the Sons Of A Wanted Man bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-09-25 by Nick Harkins
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