Wrnlrd "Pentagon" CDPosted on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 @ 6:57am » permalink
The almost entirely instrumental "Pentagon" is by far the strangest release to date from Virginia's Wrnlrd, with five tracks essentially divided into five parts each (sans the one-part closer) – making for a 50-minute affair in which the disc is literally broken up into all 21 seamless tracks. For example, opener "Annuit Coeptis", which is among the shorter segments at just under six minutes, is actually made up of the tracks "Susurration of Cairn", "Agalma Manteia", "Veil & Rope", "Widow of Pain", and "Stone & Vapor" – which blend clashing, dissonant, sustained chords that fade into dark ambient textures with extremely faint samples or vague vocal work buried in the distance amidst the occasional drum hit or shimmery clean guitar work under warbled effects. Afterwards, the project's chaotically blasting black metal starts to filter into place, complete with a massive array of wildly gnashing layers of guitar riffs and textures, but the more experimental ambient side of Wrnlrd's work is never too far behind, as the latter segments even bring in some acoustic guitars (which are some of the most promising moments of the album, actually) over low-end howls after the piece slows down a good deal. This approach continues in the 16-minute "Shaft of Ba'al", even bringing in some banjo (!?) and twisted, noisy leads to the discordantly layered spirals of the composition. Heavily obscured vocals finally resurface midway through the 10-minute "Awakening", alongside a more blasting and ferocious musical backing more typical of the bulk of Wrnlrd's work, but again, things start to cave into a wall of twisted leads and noise before shifting into another chilling dark ambient throb.
In addition to the structure of the songs' delivery, the packaging is also rather intriguing, with a tri-level cover that includes some abstract printing on the outer jewel case and faint imagery printed on a square of semi transparent vellum overlaying a small, simple pentagonal shape that resides on the booklet itself. There's also some strange content hidden underneath the CD tray – the factorial of the number 21 (I didn't even know what the hell a factorial was until I Googled the number and looked it up). I have no idea what these mathematical relationships might reveal or have to do with the album (aside from there being 21 tracks), but Wrnlrd seems to now be making it clear that there's some sort of "master plan" at work behind the scenes, as his website has some other bizarre hints here and here. Perhaps there are only three more Wrnlrd releases slated before everything comes to an end?
Very strange… very strange. Curious, though… you can never be sure what's going to come next from this project. And despite areas that remain rough around the edges, you can't help but hold a great deal of respect for the creativity and mysterious obscurity of this type of work.
Edit: A really interesting Wrnlrd interview just got posted at Pitchfork, if anyone's interested. It's down near the bottom of the page.