Ildjarn has ceased to exist, leaving behind a legacy and a discography that demands respect. Although he often gets ridiculed for said musical simplicity and his unorthodox worldview there is no denying that his mark on black metal is of immeasurable value. This is apparant in the worldwide slew of bands that have tried to emulate the typical Ildjarn sound. Tried and failed I might add.. Although every once in a while, there comes a band that really 'gets it', so to speak..
Which brings us to Dutch black metal horde Wroth. Because you know, emulating the Ildjarn sound is one thing, emulating the atmosphere, that's a different story, and that's where lots of bands fall flat on their faces. I mean, I can't play a single note if my life depended on it, let alone a riff (this might verify the myth that a lot of music journalists are failed musicians, but to hell with that..) but I can imagine that playing black metal like Ildjarn from a technical point of view shouldn't be too hard for experienced musicians. Or even semi-experienced for that matter, but I digress. But that atmosphere, that elusive spirit of what black metal should be, that je-ne-sais-quoi.. To get that, you have to really understand what it is about. And Wroth understands it. From the very first notes of opening track 'Force', it is apparant. And it never lets down, all the way through to the obligatory 'Outro'. This album oozes everything that makes Ildjarn great, therefor Wroth is great too.
And here is where the tiny problem with the album rears it's ugly head. As much as I love this album, the Ildjarn worship is so in-your-face that 'Force and Wrath' might just as well BE an Ildjarn album. Sure, there are some Darkthrone influences (especially in the added 2014 Demo on the album) that seep through, but that can be said of pretty much all lo-fi black metal acts. And I mean come on: 'Force and Wrath', you don't have to be a genious to see the analogy with Ildjarn's 'Strength and Anger'. I mean, they might as well call themselves 'FireIron' while they're at it.. I am, however, more than willing to ignore this and give them the benifit of doubt. So what if their own identity is subordinate to the total experience? But Wroth isn't just a copycat, they are a pure homage to a brilliant band. And the fact that they pull this off is worthy of high praise..