Album Review: Wren – Host

Wren is one heavy, atmospherically doom-laden, riff-bludgeoning, heavyweight band of dramatic monsters. Did I mention that they are heavy?

This isn’t so much an album, as a four-track opus of slow-burning riffs that attack in waves of measured power, underpinned by a monstrous bass and brooding rhythms. But be warned, this is not for everybody; ‘Host’ is a challenging listen, requiring more than a little patience – if hook-filled choruses are your thing, steer well clear.

‘Stray’ is the first monster out of the cage, its big-assed riff, throbbing bass and insistent melody soon garnering an air of drama. The track then twists and turns through a number of sinister sounding sections, the vocal almost incidental, as it hits varying degrees of intensity. The drama continues in similar vein on ‘No Seance’, which, at just over five minutes is the shortest track, opening to a dark bass riff before the guitars come in under a veil of feedback. There’s more slow burn riffing and a shouted vocal, but it takes an atmospheric turn before going all heavy drama.

Just when you think it can’t get any more dramatic, ‘Ossuary’ kicks off and is even slower, a disjointed guitar line giving it a graveyard feel as it gets heavier and the riffs ever more intense. ‘Loom’ closes the record with a disconcerting battering ram of a track, they’re actually trying to riff the listener into submission with a repetitive thrashing of hypnotic mind blowing intensity, the bass line enormous.

Like I said, this record requires a little patience as it can get a little one-paced and occasionally the riffage can get rather laboured. Even so, this truly heavyweight album succeeds in conjuring up sensations of drama and is richly atmospheric; not for the faint hearted.

3.5/5

‘Host’ by Wren is released on 29th April on Holy Roar Records.

Wren links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)

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