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Auburn Rule


Artist: Wren
Label: Holy Roar Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 14 July 2017

Wren is a four-piece post metal/noise-rock combo from London. Since its inception the band has undergone a number of line-up changes. The self-titled debut EP was released in 2014 and followed-up by a second one, Host, which garnered favourable reactions from the likes of Metal Hammer magazine and Terrorizer. One of the most significant word-of-mouth recommendations came from BBC Radio 1’s Rock Show, with repeat plays. Now Wren releases a first full album called Auburn Rule on Holy Roar Records, and sets out on a string of live dates including Raw Power...

Wren can most simply and accurately by described as doom metal. As a long-time follower of metal music I have experienced the vast majority of sub-genre categories. Sometimes it is easy to be deterred by below par examples of a certain type of metal, and this can mean missing out on some hidden gems. It makes more logical sense to simply try every band you might easily come across before deciding whether or not you can’t abide them. Doom isn’t one of my chosen areas of metal, but I have soaked-up the (depressive) atmosphere of some. One thing I will say for Wren is they are a really tight unit. The timing as well as the impact of musical structure changes are so spot-on it’s spooky.

Did you sense a ‘but’ coming? Never! ‘However’, although all of the solid groundwork is there, certain factors let down the finished product. Firstly, the vocals seem to be quite low in the mix, like someone calling for help from a distant hilltop. They are ‘sung’ in exactly the same manner for every song with no variation or deviation. Doom is by its very nature low and moderately-paced. Here, once you have appreciated what they can do, you begin to grow tired of the monotony. There are only five tracks: 'In the Great Yield', 'Scour the Grassland', 'The Herd', 'Traverse' and 'Dwellers of the Sepulchre'. Two of these attempt to introduce some atmospheric interludes halfway through, before returning to the set formula.

Lack of originality and diversity is the problem here. If Wren was to progress into ground breaking territory they could very probably be a force to be reckoned with.


Ty Power

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