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Wo Fat - The Black Code (8,5/10) - USA - 2012

Genre: Stoner Metal / Southern Rock / Stoner Doom
Label: Small Stone Records
Playing time: 46:13
Band homepage: Wo Fat

Tracklist:

  1. Lost Highway
  2. The Black Code
  3. Hurt at Gone
  4. The Shard of Leng
  5. Sleep of the Black Lotus
Wo Fat - The Black Code

 

Blasting off from the deep fens of the bayou, and landing direct on the unforgiving, red-sand terrain of Mars, WO FAT have made quite the trip in bringing to light their latest full-length effort, “The Black Code,” a fitting next giant leap for these Stoner Metal Texas heroes.

 

Where 2011’s “Noche del Chupacabra” saw the band singing about backwoods demons, “The Black Code” features the trio bringing their righteously uplifting brand of Southern Rock into the far-reaches of space, which, unsurprisingly, works just as well – oxygen or not. WO FAT’s sound bridges the fuzz of Stoner desert Rock with the fluid dance of psychedelic Space Rock easily, adding strong elements of Doom, soulful Blues, and the hard-edged Classic Rock of the 70’s to delightful affect in a way that very few bands are capable of achieving.

 

Like their last album, the band doles out five songs over 46-odd minutes and kills it, exhausting each second with rolling bass lines, fuzzed-out guitars, pounding drums, and Kent Stump’s knack for catchy refrains and supernatural lyrics. Of course, the band also delivers their patented brand of exceedingly heavy Blues-based jamming, with Stump, especially on a track like the gargantuan “The Shard of Leng,” showing off some unruly solo-work that works nicely with the encompassing alien-world theme.

 

With songs like the foreboding “Lost Highway,” or the star-cruising “The Black Code,” WO FAT add great distinction, a sentience to each track on the album, making sure “Hurt at Gone” hits you hard with its crispy guitar-slides, but likewise at different angles than the album-closing “Sleep of the Black Lotus,” which is, quite possibly, the most thundering 10 minutes on the record.

 

As they’ve grown so adept at doing, WO FAT mess around and come out with something genuinely unique, energetic, and definitively heavy. While “Noche del Chupacabra” currently exists as the band’s magnum opus, with a few more listens, “The Black Code” may end up taking its lunch money. Do yourselves a favor and welcome “The Black Code” to your planet with open ears.

 

ME(n)TAL NOTE: This is WO FAT's debut on Small Stone Recordings.

(Online September 25, 2012)

Evan Mugford



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