Every now and then, a short, sharp shock is needed in any listening library: Wan’s Gammal är äldst, a fifteen-minute blast of thrashy black ‘n roll, may not be a technical display of the most original output, but it sweats, bleeds and otherwise dribbles extreme metal.

My first experience of this Swedish four-piece was in their cover of Burzum’s “Stemmen fra taarnet” off of Antichrist magazine’s tribute compilation (read our review here), but they have been around since 2010, with three full-length releases to their name – 2010’s Wolves of the North, 2013’s Enjoy the Filth and 2017’s Wan Way to Hell. This latest EP stays true to their prior formula, akin to an early Skeletonwitch or Aura Noir – and the thrash-based lineage isn’t only noticeable there, but also in song titles like “Fistful of Metal” (in reference to Anthrax’s 1983 début).

The guitars are raw, but not dissonant, the percussion is clean and supports the riff-based melodies rather than overpowering them, and the rasping vocals may not change much, but they’re delivered with fervor. The best showcase of these working together is the mid-tempo record closer, “Till Maskarna Slängd”, a varied, dynamic piece that brings everything together. As far as negative critique goes, Gamma är äldst is pretty one-dimensional, but on the plus side, it is easy to listen to and plain, simple blackened fun. Perfect festival music.

Gammal är äldst Track Listing:

01. Gammal är äldst
02. Out of your league
03. Fistful of metal
04. Strong as a bear
05. Till maskarna slängd

Run Time: 14:58
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Record Label: Carnal Records

This tune will have fans feeling “Strong as a bear”.

This is Dayv. He writes stuff and makes being an aging goth cool again. Actually, nobody can do the latter, so let's just stick to him writing stuff. Predominantly about black metal, tattoos and other essential cultural necessities. He also makes pretty pictures, but that's just to pay the bills.