I would've been perfectly happy with the occasional new material from Nested (check out the review for the new album '3' here) but apparantly J. still had some unfinished business with WOTW so after 6 years, we have 'Weight' being unleashed upon the unsuspecting masses. Not a full album, more of an EP, but you don't hear me complaining.. The first noticeable thing is that it isn't a continuation of the sound of 'Solace' but more in the same vein as 'Alogon', which was released by the highly respected Profound Lore label in 2008. Incredibly harsh, monotonous raw black metal, that due to it's insanely layered nature leans more to ambient than strict black metal. It has been compared to shoegaze as well but I feel that has more to do with the wall-of-sound production than anything else. Often the point of reference that is mentioned is 'a cross between Iljdarn and Velvet Cacoon' and honestly, that isn't far off the mark. However, WOTW takes the sound of those acts to the absolute limit and it truly becomes a huge blurry whirlwind unlike anything else. At times one can even find some similarities with a genre like harsh noise. The only track that can even be remotely called straight up black metal is the short blasting track 'A noose around the neck of the past' which clocks in at barely 2 minutes..
Another thing that sets of WOTW from other black metal acts are the abstract lyrics. I wouldn't even call them lyrics, it's more like poetry or very short prose. Take for example, the brilliant lyrics to 'Growing in reverse':
"and it felt so right, becoming a morning movie with a trashy plot to give the housewives what they're wanting. but it went too far with the s + m, real and fictive, so the network blanched. it was a hard sell for nine am. and it fell right down in that morning light, cracks and fissures in the plaster walls before the whole structure gave way. there was too much weight for the bricks to bear, so they're calling it a total loss. you'll be cut a check, don't worry."
It all adds up to the already estranged atmosphere. You don't really listen to WOTW, you experience it. Everything around me becomes a blur, thoughts become a blur and I'm finding it hard to commit words to this review even. I'd much rather just immerse myself and drift off, putting it on endless repeat. Speaking of drifting off, like other WOTW releases, this EP ends with another gorgeous droning ambient piece that is a perfect closer after the incredible hurricane that came before it.
I honestly hope that J. will continue to release more WOTW material because this needs to be heard. I cannot recommend this enough. For now this is a digital-only release and it is even pay-what-you-want so there is absolutely no excuse to pass out on this. Whether you are into harsh noise, raw black metal, shoegaze, drone; this is the fix that you are craving for, trust me.