Review: “The Bilious Hues of Gloom” by Wolok

A growing concern since their self released demo “Universal Void” appeared in 2003, Wolok have made a regular habit of creating troubling records since, tormenting the eardrums with music best described as too Punk for Black Metal, too Doom for Punk and arguably too Industrial for Doom. You see the trio have for almost 20 years had a vision and stuck to the painstaking task of bringing that horror to life. Blending the raw savagery of early Scandinavian Black Metal with monolithic Death Doom before cutting it with Crust Punk and wrapping it in EBM, they have quite literally thrown their bullets in the fire and run like hell…

…eerily running to 41 minutes and 41 seconds, this eighth studio record from Wolok can be summed up in just one sentence as it is nothing short of an album to induce a psychotic episode. It is one capable of conjuring a lingering sense of fear, dread and possible hallucinations and so listener discretion is advised before entering into a pact with the Devil herself. It’s not legally binding but it will drag you kicking and screaming to an early grave. Sounding like it was recorded in a prison of padded rooms with Jourgensen from Ministry providing regular doses of hallucinogenic drugs, “The Slough Of Despond” tickles the brain stem with evil circus moments alongside a distorted spoken word. Disturbing enough to draw you in without reaching nauseating levels of atmospheric pressure, it requires a magnifying glass and lyric sheet to get through the fog while leaving you wondering what you just witnessed. That trail of apocalyptic destruction continues into the equally creepy “Yellow Bile“, a psychological piece that dances with rhythmic insanity. If you can’t imagine what goes on in the brain of Mike Patton or Greg Puciato when left alone for too long then you only need listen to this. The four minute mark however finds something of a bipolar shift, the fuzz of the guitars moving to a long, drawn out downtempo darkness for a passage of pure unadulterated evil…

Warping the mind still further, “Gospel Truth” twists and contorts into a monolithic seven and a half minute piece of Doom Metal soaked in white noise background sound scapes that paint pictures of a rusted red planet hell. The second half of the record begins with a collection of people shouting at each other against a backdrop of science fiction sounds that would make Stanley Kubrick proud in “Opalescent” before the guitars rise from the depths to increase the sense of tension. The band must however give the Devil her due and so continue to finger paint in blood while resisting the Doctors instance that a straight jacket is required with “Blotches“. A twisted, harsh spoken word narrates the Industrial skeleton as the guitars create dark rhythm textures to create murder music that stirs the senses. All that is left is “Downfallen“, an epic near eight and a half minute monster that leaves you wondering if it was all just a dream, such are it’s nightmarish qualities as eerie sounds effervescently bubble to the surface [7/10]

Track Listing

  1. The Slough Of Despond
  2. Yellow Bile
  3. Gospel Truth
  4. Opalescent
  5. Blotches
  6. Downfallen

The Bilious Hues of Gloom” by Wolok is out 8th December 2022 via Brucia Records and is available over at bandcamp.

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