WORWYK - SHADOWS BLACK (Schnozz Records)
After the release of their previous album Malignant (2009), I wrote a review with a final score of 88/100. I took a good listen to that 8th album and questioned myself what the future would bring for Worwyk. On the one hand, I hoped that they would continue in the heavier and aggressive way of composing, and on the other hand, I was flattered that variety was present with tracks that went into a totally diverse direction. Well, the new album took four years to complete, and I felt relieved after listening to this 9th album ‘Shadows Black’, as they decided that Metal is the main reason why they release and record albums! They describe their music as “authentic Heavy Metal combining melodic, semi-technical riffs with scorching solos and both clean and aggressive vocals”.
Worwyk is not a band, but for the two members, I guess it’s a kind of mission. They don’t play live as Worwyk is strictly a studio project of Tom Vitacco (all music to keep it simple) and Jason Russo (vocals). I guess it takes about 8 hours to get together as Tom lives in Chicago while Jason resides in Buffalo, so the partnership is mainly electronic. The first album that they recorded together was the previous one ‘Malignant’, and afterwards they joined forces with another guitar player for a project called Metal Force. After the recordings of a first album as Metal Force, they decided to start writing new material, and that album is what I hold in my hands right now. ‘Shadows Black’ refers to a dark, obscure and gloomy state or condition, and that reflects also in the songs on the new album.
‘Gone And Forgotten’ is the first track on the new album, and immediately, the good sound and production are striking. Great vocal lines by Jason combined with artistic highlights on the strings result in a brilliant track that draws everyone’s attention from the very first second! I hope that this opener is the standard for the whole album, as this is US metal like it should be! ‘Paths To Follow’ starts with a killer riff and speeds up a little more, and while the vocals are spitting clear messages, I enjoyed this track right from the start. This is already a first highlight on “Shadows Black”, so let’s roll on! After this rollercoaster we get a heavier song that has outstanding guitars while the pace of the song is threatening and imminent. Also the vocals of Jason are a little heavier and darker and that fits like a glove to the arrangement.
The title track takes +7 minutes and opens with acoustic guitars and a nice layer of keys. It seems like a ballad is coming our way…. While Tom Vitacco is taking care of all instruments (he does a really great job on this track!), the vocals of Jason have a little Queensr˙che approach, but when the pace of the song is speeding up, we are sucked into a real headbanger that could make the audience go wild (damn it’s a pity that this band doesn’t support their releases with shows). This is US Metal at very high level, and defines the all necessary ingredients to mention a track as ‘masterpiece’. And all tracks on this new album have a little gem to explore. They all contain a little secret that lifts the overall structure to heights, and isn’t that a rarity nowadays?
The lyrics of all 10 tracks are printed on 2 pages in the booklet and at my age, this requisite a magnifying glass, but this doesn’t detract the quality of this product. Worwyk can be proud on their achievement, and I’m really glad that they continue stubborn and willful as their tenacious character reflects in an album that could end up high in those that want real Metal instead of trends, as this is so pure and classy, it becomes an album that you have to listen to if you call yourself a metalhead!
Those that want information about Worwyk’ back catalog can contact Tom at email@example.com and he will answer all questions or inquiries about this band.
My rating: 94 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish