British black metal act Wode broke out in a huge way with last year's self-titled LP. The album was hailed one of the finest debuts of the year, and the band garnered immediate attention and praise for their seamless fusion of ferocity and delicacy. Barely a year later, the band has returned with an even grander statement entitled Servants of the Countercosmos.On this sophomore release, Wode's urgency is apparent—but this is no rush job. Instead, the immediacy and full-throated fury are brought to the front, allowing the band's melodic leanings to serve as more of a counterpoint to highlight the aggression. Bearing that in mind, the band also manages to go for more of a kitchen-sink, far-reaching approach that only adds to the jagged edges instead of detracting. It's a relentless beast with enough surprises to keep things constantly exciting. From the ambiance lingering behind the ferocity of "Temple Interment" to the cutting, surprisingly catchy guitars of the monolithic "Chaosspell." The six tracks run their course in approximately forty minutes, which allows each to stretch out nicely, yet the whole thing feels like it tears through itself in a fraction of the time. Servants of the Countercosmos is the kind of album that ends on a lingering note, begging for a repeat journey. It's likely one you'll want to make again and again.Avantgarde Music is now accepting pre-orders for Servants of the Countercosmos on vinyl, CD, and digital formats in advance of its release on May 31. To coincide with this, we're hosting a stream below to whet your appetite. Give in to the urge and join the servants.
Ben Handelman is staying cosmic on Twitter.