Originally released on cassette in 2004 in a limited edition of 100 copies, Badb is one of the earliest releases from the Saskatchewan-based black metal/noise duo Wold. The nine tracks featured here revolve around the mythology of the war goddess, the specter of doom that lurks at the edge of the battlefield, and begins at the heart of a roiling black blizzard and proceeds through a charred nightmare soundscape of icy corroded black metal riffs, fractured blasting, melancholic melodies blurred and smeared into malevolent new shapes, and scathing distorted witch-screams ripping through the blackness, all doused and drowned in Merzbowian levels of feedback and distortion abuse. Now presented on Cd for the first time, this early swarm of Wold’s psychotropic black metal/noise terror comes with all-new artwork from Pippi Zornoza.
The short introduction “Her Voice I” thrusts the listener into thew midst of a brutal blizzard, roaring wind whipping gusts of snow, blinding sheets of frozen ice filling the air, and then it suddenly stops, cut off as the band jerks into the title track, a hellish buzzing storm of painfully strained and shredded screams, droning bass, and dreary guitar notes all swept up in a violent Merbowian blizzard of distortion. On many of these tracks, it appears that they didn’t even use drums, but on others like “Nine Virgins Of Badb”, pounding blastbeats hammer away in the background, almost totally obscured by the white noise and deformed howl of the massively blown-out guitar. Most of the time the guitar is a monstrous hollowed-out wall of buzzing, but sometimes an actual black metal riff takes shape, a simple, sometimes surprisingly catchy riff churning in all of the high-end fuzzed out chaos, slipping in and out of focus or morphing into a weird chiming, almost “poppy” melody as the band’s wall of black noise shifts in intensity. On other tracks (such as “The Wind Shall Carry Her Message” and “Evocation Of Badb”), the in-the-red distortion becomes so extreme that the sound seems to break apart completely, crumbling into glitchy noise and scraped guitar skree before coming back together into another swarming blacknoise assault, or else dissolving into pure industrial noise and feedback.