Photo courtesy of the artist
Psychedelic doom act The Wounded Kings has returned to deliver its swansong. On Visions in Bone, original vocalist George Birch rejoins his bandmates, replacing Sharie Neyland, who left the group in 2014 following the release of Consolamentum. With a bluesy swagger, the band takes to this final opus with enthusiasm and creativity that even young, hungry acts often lack. There’s a rollicking joy throughout, the sensation that the band is having the best time working together for this last release. If the eerie sprawl of opener “Beast” doesn’t immediately hook you, the album’s remaining four songs are certain to hold appeal to any fan of the genre.
Riffs are bountiful on songs like “Kingdom,” where the band’s dynamics are at their most prominent. Lurching bass and loose drums set a backdrop for creepy samples before groovy guitar worms its way back to the forefront for a feeling that is both exhilarating and timeless. The entirety of Visions in Bone feels like a celebration of the genre this quartet has committed itself to for over a decade. From the haunting, almost devotional quality of the vocals to the endlessness of each chord as it rings out, this album feels larger than life yet frighteningly human.
Keep an eye out for the impending vinyl release from Candlelight and Spinefarm Records and listen to the stream below at maximum volume in a smoke-filled room. The Wounded Kings are dead. Long may they live.
Ben Handelman is having visions on Twitter.