For a while, San Francisco seemed like some sort of black metal mecca, record after record and shows galore, all sorts of grim and kvlt hordes, Leviathan, Draugar, Crebain, Horn Of Dagoth, Elk, Necrite and more. And while some of those bands are still active, the recordings have seemed to dry up, more a trickle than a torrent. We know there is a Crebain record in the works, there’s the forthcoming Mastery 2cd on tUMULt, a rumored Leviathan, but there are lots of new bands too, Botanist, Kerasphorus, and these guys, or rather this guy, Palace Of Worms, and finally a new slab of fucked up freaked out blackness from SF to obsess over, and believe us, this is well worth obsessing over.
Anyone into any of the above mentioned bands will dig PoW for sure, a dizzying blend of troo black metal buzz, and experimental post rock, which is evident from the first few seconds of the record, beginning with haunting majestic synths, then a brittle lo-fi blast of metal, that sounds like it was played on a mandolin, or pitched up, before the song proper kicks in with a wall of frenzied super saturated black buzz, croaked vokills, and buried in the mix blast beats, switching gears multiple times throughout the song, chugging doomic sprawl, to gnarled Deathspell style blackprog, with plenty of tangly guitar lines and lurching tempo changes, clean guitar, very reminiscent of another aQ BM fave Woe, the same sort of melodic sensibility fused into a seriously harrowing chunk of grim black aggression.
The rest of the record follow suit, dipping occasionally into ultra raw, old school black metal pound, weird almost industrial shoegazey ambience (sounding a bit like Nadja or Jesu), classic midtempo Burzumy blackness, awesomely creepy Eastern tinged black ambience, almost Katatonia moody sounding melodic blackness, but always returning to that furious heaviness, all lightning speed riffage, hellish vox, dizzying complex rhythms, soaring synths, but all infused with that strange, and subtle pop element that turns grim and black into something much more interesting, and makes Palace Of Worms another band to add to SF’s black pantheon.