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Wretched : Black Ambience

This is a bit ironic to have a dead singer sings "I passed out years ago" on the opening track from this EP. For this is what it's all about here. Death of a man, death of a band. Jon Blank was a well-known name for all those that took interest and liking in the Washington DC Doom scene, having been a bass-player both for Wino (the solo project) and in Unorthodox, as well as having graced with his raspy/bluesy voice the 3 albums released by Wretched between 1993 and 1995. And after nearly a decade of silence, what a joy it was to learn that the band was finally alive again and was recording songs for a new album. This was in 2004, and of course there won't be any new album. For in the beginning of 2009, Jon Blank died of a drug overdose, the bane of the D.C. scene. What's left were only the three songs the band managed to record in 2004. Some could say there are like the demos of that unborn album.

And those demos, they put a lot of albums to shame. Right on, you know by the first riff what you'll get: Maryland Doom. Invoked from the ashes of Black Sabbath, with the blood of the 70's Hard Rock pounding through their veins. Doom with a groove, baby. And flawless in all ways. Be it the razor riffing of Jeff Parons or the thunderous pounding of the pair Starchan/Basilika, the mighty sound of the Polar Bear Lair studios (I've lost track of how many great albums were created in these rooms) and, of course, Jon wailing like he just has lost someone close and dear.

Just 3 songs, all of them simply pure classics. Fucking shame it had to end like this. This record simply sum up why you like Doom Metal in the first place, whatever your musical sub-genre inclination may be after that. It shows up from where everything comes, and in the end where everything will return. Rock with a groove, Metal with a Soul. Just buy it, it's a bloody essential record for 2009.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. When I Was Alive
2. Together We Drown
3. Cold As You

Duration : Approx. 13 minutes.

Visit the Wretched bandpage.

Reviewed on 28-01-2010 by Laurent Lignon
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