9th May 2015 – self-released
02. Death Has Been Consumed
03. Brumal Sleep
04. Everynone (Only Murder Walks Us Home)
05. Dead Days Run Amuck
06. Low Mammon
08. Dream Too Far
09. Swan Song City
10. The Deepest Alone
11. World Coda
I recently met World Narcosis guitarist Sindri at a party, and told him that his band’s new album, World Coda, feels like Hayworth jamming with Deathspell Omega; opening track “Futureless” or “Brumal Sleep” grind away at high speeds – and apparently I wasn’t too far off: “This album is basically my attempt to make black metal,” he said “but with the members involved, a grind influence is inevitable.”
The riffs definitely carry that aura of wickedness, reminiscent of the iniquity of Blut Aus Nord, or Deathspell’s evil vibes. The vocals have an air of cathartic distress to them; the humanity of the emotions on display really exemplifies why World Narcosis stand out of the pack in both the black metal and grindcore scenes. While both genres have the ability to purge and cleanse the soul and senses, some music tend to feel more like nothing more than a performance. World Coda truly feels like a group of people baring their emotions in the most sincere of ways. This is even truer when the band steps outside of the black and grind spectrum and into the world of sludgy and post-metal.
On tracks like “Nigh(t)” and “The Deepest Alone” we get to hear vocalist Viktor and bassist/vocalist Halla respectively get a song all on their own. They use this time wisely; desperately screaming into the void, trying to be heard by a world that doesn’t care. Halla in particular is fantasic; she hollers out, not in an Angela Gossow or mediocre death metal kind of way, but in a truly emotional and spine-tingling fashion like Made Out Of Babies/Battle of Mice‘s Julie Christmas, or Dagmar Krause of Art Bears. Now we can add Halla to the list of vocalists who could have record an entire song with nothing but her screaming and cover your body in goosebumps.
That’s not to detract even a miniscule amount of praise from the leads of Viktor, who brings a performance of a lifetime here. He also really knows how to paint a mental portrait; I’ve been reading his poetry and short stories for a decade or so, I was sure these lyrics would be well worth reading even before listening.
Musically, vocally and lyrically I absolutely love this album. To add to that, the album art is some of the most intricate and interesting work I’ve seen on an Icelandic release – however there is one place where the album falls a little short: the production.
While this is not an album that should ever have perfect digital production, it could do with just a little bit more definition at some points of the. When everything comes together in some of the harder hitting parts, things get a little lost in the mix – similar to how a band sounds in a rehearsal space. Unfortunately, the drums tend to suffer from this most of all, which is a shame as Ægir is a beast. It’s most noticeable when listening to World Coda directly after something else, which can make it sound a bit underwhelming and weak – a real pity, as on its own it is quite an overwhelming listen in the best way imaginable.
Despite this production qualm, World Coda is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year; it just ticks so many boxes. The emotional and spine-chilling vocals, the fantastic off-kilter riffs and intense drumming, and songs so well written that it flows like a goddamn rapid through its eleven tracks, crushing everything in its path. The production does get in the way of its greatness, but I still want to listen to it over and over again, which probably says it all.
Get the limited edition vinyl if you can, but if you don’t, I still wholeheartedly recommend the digital version on Bandcamp; it’s well worth your while.