Thursday 23 March 2017

Wounded Giant - Vae Victis (Album Review)

Release date: April 01st 2017. Label: STB Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Vae Victus – Tracklisting

1.Vae Victis 09:30
2.Dysthiest 06:20
3.Immanentize The Eschaton (Jim Jones Instrumental) 04:43
4.Scum Of The Earth 07:03
5.The Room Of The Torch 07:36
6.Green Scar 06:09


Dylan A. Rogers. - Bassworshipper
Alex Bytnar. - Drumworshipper
Bobby James. -Riffworshipper


Wounded Giant make a welcome return after a lengthy four year absence from their debut album - Lightning Medicine. Sure they've released an EP's and split record but this time they've come back stronger than ever with their new album - Vae Victis. Newly signed to STB Records, the guys have not only teamed up with that awesome label but they have also called upon the talents of legendary producer Billy Anderson to produce their new album.

Vae Victis sees Wounded Giant create a more diverse and progressive sound heard on their debut album. Though fans of their debut album will be treated to some familiar sounds spliced throughout the album. Vae Victis has a more Melvins/Soundgarden influenced style of sound. It works as their familiar Doom/Stoner riffs hold everything together.

The opening title track is ten minutes of twisted and distorted noise rock driven sounds that owes a huge debt to The Melvins but it's still a song that sees Wounded Giant create their own sound. The song is quite political at times with sharp, bleak and social conscience lyrics adding quite a rebellious punk feel to Wounded Giant's sound. The song offers moments of heavy pounding sludge grooves and it's perhaps the albums standout track. The sound is very raw from the start but with Billy Anderson involved it still sounds superb.

Second track - Dysthiest - offers a more gloomy style of Doom/Stoner Rock with grungier sounds making a commanding appearance with the band offering another subtle take on the modern world. The heavy drumming and guitars are the main standout with the vocals not too far behind. You can hear elements of nineties style Noise Rock slowly playing in the background as the band move that little further away from the music they created on their debut album. This has song has a more world weary approach but fans of Doom and Stoner Metal can fully appreciate this track.

Third track - Immanentize The Eschaton - is the most gloomiest and depressing song on the album as Wounded Giant blend gloomy atmospherics with a touch of Occult Rock appearing with the cool organs playing throughout. The band adds heavier moments as the song progresses. Another standout track on the album. The song has a very minimal approach but the political message contained within the song that speaks major volumes.

The final three songs on the album - Scum Of The Earth, The Room Of The Torch and Green Scar carry on the political and social messages the band delivers but told through the power of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal. The atmosphere can be very experimental at times as Wounded Giant play a wide different style of sounds though remaining a true Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal band. The vocals are once again sung with precise anger and that blends perfectly well with the heavy grungy sounds the band surrender themselves to.

The final three songs range from six to seven minutes in length. So expect moments of pure distorted heaviness and sonic experimentation.

Truth be told, it took me a long time to fully appreciate this album as my first listen it left me rather cold by the whole experience. I've only enjoyed it with multiple listens and listening closely to the lyrics that I started to fully appreciate what an epic and stunning album this really is. My final thoughts on Vae Victis are that Wounded Giant has exceeded themselves with this album. As it's a spellbinding take on all things Rock, Metal and everything in between.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Jadd for the promo. Vae Victis will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via STB Records from April 01st 2017.