KK Warslut and his platoon of blackened speed metal marauders need no introduction to the underground metal aficionado. I know there are plenty of you out there whose tastes are squarely rooted in the sounds of the ’80s; such a release from perhaps the most prominent name in underground circles is always cause for a celebration.
D666 offers a remarkably listenable brand of genuine metal. KK is plugged into a cosmic hell-world that gifts him a muse to create memorable, headbanging riffs. Across Call of the Wild, original riffs that pay homage to the great masters of the ’80s; Sodom, Destruction, Venom and Bathory, are given pride of place. But that isn’t the reason D666’s brand of metal is so appealing.
KK’s compositional talent shines on Call of the Wild, which is why most of D666’s music finds its way into so many blackened hearts.Gifted with a remarkable sense of timing, a choice vocal cadence and sequencing of riffs within a song (not to mention the actual riffs themselves), KK produces quality cuts that survive repeated listens.
The first cut, “Violence is Golden”, menaces in the same manner as Venom’s overlooked Tony Dolan fronted epic, “Prime Evil” (’89). The turnaround that is first introduced at the 25-second mark highlights the earlier point regarding timing. Without the turnaround, at the precise moment that it is presented in the song one may tire of what is, which is a crushing alternately picked verse riff. At 1:37, a glorious change in pace takes the song in a new direction: The visual is stark; grotesque winged demons pursue and torture the damned through the volcanic hell-scape the suffering have been sentenced to endure for eternity.
“Stone By Stone” opens with a very fast lead guitar phrase that has been turned into a riff, think Dave Mustaine mid-addiction reinterpreting Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! Pardon the reference, but the point stands. KK’s vocal cadence ensures the faithful who I have personally seen scream the band’s song lyrics back at D666 during a public performance are given ample opportunity to indulge.
The title track’s chromatic opening sequence provides a little warning to the blitzkrieg, that is the verse riff; An armament of guitar leads unleash fury before KK barks the vocal and “Trialled by Fire” is the musical accompaniment to the carnage that is left after a battle has been fought. I loathe the term ‘atmospheric’ as brilliant bands such as Wolves In The Throne Room offer whole albums where they have perfected the art, so it’s best that I call the opening stanza “Trialled by Fire” as the band warming the engine before tearing off mid-pace into the breeze.
D666 are unapologetically a heavy metal band. Their music is masculine and testosterone-driven. I’ve not met KK or any member of the band, but I will say that I find D666’s determination to stand within their truth admirable in the context that metal is all about being true to yourself.
Finally, those who have read many of my reviews will acknowledge that I significantly emphasise the musician’s performance on a recording.
Frankly, I’m not a lyrics guy, and many a metal bands associated artwork is awkward and juvenile (Exhibit A: Morbid Angel’s latest release for what not to do and Satyricon’s for what works). Due to the use of stage names and acronyms, I’ll allow the reader to brush up on who is in D666; however, I implore any aspiring metal songsmith to study what the band has done here. Much like my personal favourites Living Colour and King’s X; every guitar lead is solid and meaningful. The bass is audible and occasionally dominant, and the percussion is the foundation without ever over-powering the song narrative.
Call of the Wild is one of the best releases of 2018.