Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wormsblood - In the Stars

Mysterious blackened stench-Metal from Wisconsin, this album collects tracks from a wide variety of sources scattered throughout the history of the band. I will use this post to attempt to explain the already long-winded history of this young band.

The story goes that Wyrdskull originally attempted a solo project, called Qliphothic Necromancies, in 2002. This project only recorded 6 songs (a total of 11 minutes worth of music), none of which has ever been released.

Fed-up with struggling to do everything alone, Wyrdskull joined forces with guitarist Apaculus, vocalist the Lung and multi-instrumentalist Crimson Maaritkitaka to form the band Battery of Ogun. Battery of Ogun recorded three original songs and one Beherit cover which were supposed to be released as a split with Wolfmangler in 2003. Eventually the Lung left the group, the remaining members changed their name to Wulfcult and canceled the scheduled split release.

As Wulfcult, the trio recorded 20 minutes worth of material and began shopping the demo to friendly labels. Just as an offer was made by Terrorwolfe Records to release this demo, Wulfcult decided to abandon this material and start over again. Apaculus left the group to pursue solo material, leaving Wyrdskull and Crimson Maaritkitaka to begin anew. The only material kept from the Wulfcult sessions, the song “Thundercall (intro)”, opens this collection.

Wyrdskull then founded the band Wormsblood and invited the Lung and Crimson Maaritkitaka to join him for an initiation ritual and free form psycho-sonic performance at the height of wintertime, January 2004. After this night of howling at the moon, the Lung moved on to many other projects and Crimson Maaritkitaka fulfilled his dream of moving into the deep north woods.

Now again, Wyrdskull was left to create this music alone. “The Grave Hill” demos were recorded in the end of Spring, 2004. Wyrdskull performed all instruments and vocals, using a few ambient segue provided by Crimson Maaritkitaka. This was released on cassette by Skullfucking Tapes (label later changed name to Cult Cassettes).

After this, Wyrdskull recorded the “Hexennacht” sessions, mostly ritual black ambient works that were the inspirations for founding the Burial Hex project (this collects “From these fields (we can see the stars)” and “Ritual of bone and horn / a houndish child arises” from these sessions). During this time, Wyrdskull also recorded the “Urfyr” cassette for Skullfucking Tapes (never re-released).

In 2005, he recorded the “Murder” sessions (from which “Ritual Use of the Athame”, “Axis of Apator”, “In the Stars” and “Tolling beyond this lunar trance” is featured on this collection).

In 2006, Wyrdskull was joined by Vragknacht the Two-Handed on drums. This duo recorded the “Odal” sessions (one track from these sessions is featured here, called “the First dim shinings (of those about to awaken)”. These sessions were to be released in their entirety on vinyl by the Mad Monk label, but nothing ever materialized.

In 2007, Wyrdskull was joined by Vragknacht the Two-Handed on drums and guitarist Russellus Halfricus, this trio recorded the “Swords Swallowing Swords” sessions; live rehearsals that produced two songs, both featured on this collection (“Siege” and “Street Jammer”).

Russellus Halfricus and Vragknacht both left the group shortly after these intense sessions, leaving Wyrdskull to record the “Inheritor” sessions alone. These sessions yielded the songs “The Marriage”, “Inheritor” and “Fyrnsidu”, all of which are release here.

In 2008, Vragknacht and Apaculus rejoined Wormsblood and recorded the “Bounds Beaten” sessions (none of which is issued on this collection). As of 2009, the group is working with a new line-up, Wyrdskull continues to take on lead vocals, keyboards and other special effects. Crimson Maaritkitaka remains a mysterious inspiration, occasionally reaching down from the northlands to help his kin in their earthly pursuits. As we gaze into the future, it seems Wormsblood may be moving into all new directions, as the band has recently been augmented by a new unnamed drummer, Vragknacht has moved his two hands over to keyboard and synth, Apaculus remains as guitarist, and rumor has it they’ve added two unnamed bass players as well. Who knows what the future will hold for this grim collective.

“In the Stars” is basically an anthology collection of all the memorable songs from over five years worth of experimentation. It was originally a self-released cdr, later reissued on cassette by Fauna Sabbat. Now it is seeing proper reissue on vinyl by the mighty Aurora Borealis label. As a supplement to this collection, Barbarian Records is releasing “Mastery of Creation Demos” CD/LP which includes “The Grave Hill” demo and the entire “Bounds Beaten” and “Odal” sessions.

WORMSBLOOD discography: (links forthcoming...)
The Grave Hill cassette / Skullfucking Tapes, 2004
Urfyr cassette / Skullfucking Tapes, 2004
In the Stars cdr / self-released, 2007
In the Stars cassette / Fauna Sabbat, 2008
In the Stars CD,LP / Aurora Borealis, 2009
Mastery of Creation CD,LP / Barbarian Records, 2009

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