ALBUM REVIEW: Wardenclyffe ‘Control All Delete’


‘Control All Delete’
Ván Records
(Released: March 2015)

Wardenclyffe’s supercharged traditional doom metal effortlessly brings in elements of epic doom and death-doom. Lyrically, the Swedish band deals with some fascinating stuff; themes of transhumanism, global control, cybernetics and occultism abound throughout this thoughtfully thundering debut.

Oh, and lots of electricity. Wardenclyffe LOVE electricity. The band is named after the former HQ of Serbian American electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, who was one of the original members of hard rock band AC/DC. Or something. Adding to the intrigue, their 2012 demo, ‘Ordo Ab Chao’, was actually recorded as a soundtrack to a doctoral thesis written by singer/guitarist and band founder Jacob Nordangård, called ‘The Political History Of Biofuels In The European Union’. See? Fascinating stuff.

There may be some curious cerebral themes at play, and song titles such as ‘Externalization Of The Hierarchy’, but, on the other hand, there is also a rumbling dirge called ‘Merchants Of Doom’, demonstrating Wardenclyffe’s solid footing in the timeless ways of doom.

The pace of the album rarely raises above a trundle, but there are fiery passages of chugging death metal, which add a degree of emotional tumult. You can feel the influence of Paradise Lost, Celtic Frost and Samuel in the foundations of Wardenclyffe’s subtle control and quality, while quirky Swiss doomsters Pÿlon also spring to mind.

Generally, ‘Control All Delete’ is elegant if not always enthralling; it’s often more soothing than electrifying. It may occasionally feel slightly one-paced, but there are exquisite solos and admirable guitar dexterity, against a solid four-string counterweight and some wild-eyed skin pummelling.

Melody is lovingly integrated into the miserable morass. Alongside biofuel expert Nordangård, the band was created by guitarist Ola Blomkvist of the brilliant Griftegard, and there are traces here of that band’s gloomily uplifting nature. There are also plenty of genuine surprises along the way.

Wardenclyffe’s debut album is an extremely enjoyable exploration of mind and misery. This is high quality doom metal that honours the past while heading steadfastly into an uncertain future. Are friends electric? Yes they are.

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