WOODEN STAKE - Invoke the Ageless Witch 7"
Wayne Sarantopolous, aka: Elektrokutioner (Guitar, Drums and Keyboards) is the hardest working man in extreme metal as well as prolific. He played on four releases which Scumfeast Metal included in the favorites listings for 2010. This one would've made it in as well if it didn't come out on December 25th. WOODEN STAKE is his latest project which he's joined by Vanessa Nocera (bass and vocals). So I'm familiar with his other bands and now after listening to this one I have to ask, is everything this guy touches incredible? WOODEN STAKE are Doom. Yes people sludge is hip and stoner is groovy but given a choice I'd rather hear some fuckin DOOM! For me real Doom invokes a sense of darkness, fear and horror. This seven inches drips with those three ingredients.
The title track "Invoke the Ageless Witch" starts out with the Barbera Steele speech sample from the beginning of Mario Bava's classic gothic horror flick from 1960, Black Sunday. Alright so not only am I a Barbara Steele fan, a fanatic for classic horror but Black Sunday just happens to be one of my top twenty horror movies of all time. Steele's photo from the movie even appears on the back cover of this slab. Now as far as the music goes well this is absolutely incredible. Vanessa Nocera has this witch vocal style that's bloodcurdling whether she's singing clean which is haunting or screaming which is downright unnerving. She does the same on the flipside with "At the Stroke of Midnight / Howl of the Devil". Musically this duo reminds me of early CANDLEMASS with the songs generally moving at a slow sinister crawl most of the time then pick up some speed at various moments.
Vanessa Nocera's bass playing can actually be heard as opposed to some bands who drown out the bass with the guitars. Speaking of which Wayne Sarantopolous's lets loose with these thick riffs balanced out with his drum beats like you're being beaten with a sledgehammer. He follows that up with sick solos like he's torturing a victim. You listen to this thing and can't help but exclaim "holy shit"! I heard one song last year from their debut EP Vampire Plague Exorcism and thought wow this is pretty good. This is the follow up to that one, holy shit! What's even better is they've got two new split releases that are out now or will be out soon. Holy Shit! Holy Fuckin Shit! Yes you'll be reading about them sometime this year from me. All I can say is that WOODEN STAKE are one of the best Doom bands out today.