Label: Avantgarde Music
The self-titled debut album from Wode was good, if maybe a little too in thrall of its influences. The follow-up, 2017’s Servants of the Countercosmos, was an improvement in practically every way possible. The sense of grandeur is still there, but a sense of celestial violence and other-worldly disdain was much more to the fore, as if channeling the spirits of Dissection, Deathspell Omega, and English heritage black metal in to some demonic form. It also contains the catchiest song the band have written to date, a greater sense of variety, and the kind of charisma that could see the band go far.
Said catchy song, ‘Celestial Dagger’, is a prominent feature of the band’s live sets, and it’s clear why. Coming across as if early Dissection had tried to write a classic metal single, it’s full of hooks, razor-sharp leads, and the kind of power that invokes spontaneous head-banging. It’s an outlier, but also a good example of what Wode are aiming for; sinister, other-worldly black metal that is still filled with hooks and head-banging riffs. This is achieved in darker ways on other tracks – most notably on the impressive title track – but that ethos is present throughout, making Servants of the Countercosmos an album as sinister and occult as it is enjoyable – very.