The first two albums released by Chicago/Minneapolis band Wolvhammer — 2010’s Black Marketeers Of World War III and 2011’s The Obsidian Plains — were violently aggressive, ugly things of crusty, hardcore-based black metal. The band’s forthcoming third album, Clawing Into Black Sun, feels quite a bit more subdued by comparison: It’s clear, spacious, doomy, almost goth-y in places. In a sense, the new album’s refinements threaten to render it an afterthought in the public eye; in a year where the most-acclaimed metal albums are either really bombastic, really ornate, really slow, or really weird, who will pay attention to music that is simply really good? Irrespective of the audience it finds, Clawing Into Black Sun deserves to be heard. All the editorial choices and advancements made here by Wolvhammer are positive ones; this is the band’s best album to date. A couple weeks back, we streamed Wolvhammer’s new split 7″ with Krieg, which contains an alternate version of Clawing Into Black Sun track “Slaves To The Grime” (I missed it at the time, but I’m now of the belief that both tracks on that record were written about the same subject), and today, we’ve got all of Clawing Into Black Sun for you to spin. Do it.
Clawing Into Black Sun is out 7/8 via Profound Lore.