Having only formed back in 2008, Dublin’s WOUND UPON WOUND (who named themselves after the GORGOROTH track) are relative newcomers to the ever-growing Irish Black Metal scene and as far as debut efforts go, “Grievance” is a more than worthy entry in the field.
The aforementioned GORGOROTH is an obvious reference point when one takes into account the brutal assault of the first two tracks, which could easily have featured on albums like “Destroyer” or “Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam," which is great since I absolutely love those albums (especially the latter), but the next three songs see the band finding more of a voice of their own. In stark contrast to the sonic mayhem of the opening combo, the latter half of the EP is dominated by slower, dirge-like Black Metal numbers that slowly snake their way into your subconscious with some truly eerie atmospheres. The overall mood is as bleak and black as soot, with the Doomy (and well-accentuated) riffs meshing well with the somewhat more growled vocal approach which is similar to what one may find in DEATHSPELL OMEGA or newer OFERMOD. The eight minute “Reflection” is easily the best pick on here, as its brooding melancholy slowly builds to a chilling climax. The vibe of this song, as well as that of the equally moody “Decadence," also brings to mind the awesome Polish act MGLA, which is a big plus in this reviewer’s book. The only track that can’t seem to get out of the gates is the bland “Last Breath," but this is a minor gripe.
These guys probably have some way to go before they can start challenging their more renowned countrymen like PRIMORDIAL and ALTAR OF PLAGUES but verall this is a great little EP, and hopefully indicative of even greater (and grimmer) things to come. The sound is top notch, the songs are well fleshed-out, and although not quite the catchiest thing you’ll ever hear it is an authoritative statement of intent on the band’s part.
(Online July 25, 2011)