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ALBUM OF THE MONTH
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Sound Preview Lab
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Wounded Giant
(Vae Victus)
2017
Staff Rating: Crank this to 9.1 of 11
|    Editor's Pick
Genre:
Stoner rock, Sludge rock, Metal
Sounds Like:
Lizzard Wizzard, Vokonis
Usually it's a good thing when bands touch a variety of genres in their sound. Over the many years of research we have found that this tends to breed an original sound versus the heavy concentration in one genre. Wounded Giant dabble and cross areas in hardcore, doom, black metal, sludge and stoner. Sludge and psychedelic fans will tend to gravitate unconsciously as these two genres are a bit more prominent. We have had the pleasure of sinking our teeth into the bands latest album entitled Vae Victus.

For those not familiar with the Latin tongue the album title means "woe to the vanished or conquered". We get that triumphant feeling on this album as Wounded Giant dominate their victims in this album. What we like most about this album is its raw texture and sincerity. The listener really needs to take a deeper dive to get all the different layers and melodies and overcast aura that the album delivers. Much a kin to an Acid Bath album, you need patience and several listens in one full setting to get the full appreciation.

Track listing:
1. Vae Victus (9:30)
2. Dysthiest (6:20)
3. Immenatize the Eschaton (4:43)
4. Scum of the Earth (7:03)
5. The Room of the Torch (7:36)
6. Green Scar (6:09)

What is the stand out track on Vae Victus?
While the title track does set the tone and overall ambience, we are blown away by "The Room of the Torch". Checkout the deep brooding fretwork at the 5:47 mark. Tremendous riffs that culminate into the most majestic moment on the album. James' exceptional closing solo really displays his talents.

What adult beverage do we recommend accompany your listening of Vae Victus?

We will get really local for the three piece hailing from Seattle Washington and go with Kentucky Dark Star Oatmeal Stout from Fremont Brewing.
Oats add a smooth texture to this deceptively dark, drinkable big beer, brewed on the far east side of Fremont. Intricate flavors conjure thoughts of figs, caramel, coffee and even a bit of citrus. Be careful: This beer hides its strength (8.5 percent alcohol by volume) well.   

How is the production on the album?
We waiver on this one a bit. The production is pretty solid although we could use more crispness and separation between the high pitched fretwork and lower tonal bass-work. Some of the muddies however do add to the psychedelia that bleeds through.

Band members:
Bobby James- vocals/guitar
Dylan Rogers- bass
Alex Bytnar- percussion

Final thoughts for Vae Victus.
Vae Victus has this classic sludge stoner feel that is difficult to take out of heavy rotation. There is something very comforting and addictive to us about this album. It plays like it comes from a band that has been around since 2002 and not just 2012. Give this one a gander if you want to add some depth to your sludge.  It is an absolute must for fans of the heavy. - 7/22/17

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