Wykan Premiere “Wykan (The Shamanic Trance)” from Debut EP Solace

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Montreal riff metallers Wykan make their debut April 13 with the Solace EP. It is not intended for background listening. Even at three tracks/24 minutes, it’s not the kind of thing you “just put on” while you’re picking up around the house or working or whatever you might be doing. It demands attention and demands it early. Wrapped together in a shroomy, ritualistic thematic, its component pieces are presented shortest to longest — “Lahppon Olmmos” opens at 6:50 with a guest appearance from Cryptopsy‘s Matt McGachy (because Montreal), “The Gathering” (8:00) follows, and “Wykan (The Shamanic Trance)” (9:17) rounds out — and seems to move toward ever more extreme fare as it goes. The opening movement of “Lahppon Olmmos?” It has more in common with Alabama Thunderpussy than anything vicious or brutal, but Wykan get there one way or the other.

One might think of it as a new face of sludge, but the sound is too clean, too calculated for that. Sludge is fucked up and just kind of happens — this material has been thought out. For example, the Opeth-gone-black-metal scream along of “The Gathering” carefully melds a post-metallic plod to its raw-throated cruelties, and likewise, “Lahppon Olmos” keeps itself willfully in two wykan solaceworlds in terms of sound, its chug never quite reaching the mathy complexity for which Montreal’s extreme underground is known (one more time: hello, Cryptopsy), but clearly solving its own stylistic equation as it goes. Likewise, “The Gathering” plods through its scream-topped midsection with a particularly charred-sounding lumber, but keeps room for answering back with classic elements like squigglies and a more chug-happy, sample-inclusive ending movement.

The semi-eponymous “Wykan (The Shamanic Trance)” might be the EP’s crowning achievement, however, beginning with sampled spoken word over ambience before a build of quiet guitar starts in, vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Perkins leading bassist Daniel Paras and drummer Morgan Zwicker toward an Ensalved-esque movement of progressive black metal that fleshes itself out with marked flow over the next several minutes as an instrumental before the vocals finally join in following a midpoint slowdown, turn toward chugging plod and shift back into blastbeaten rush just before the six-minute mark. Raspy vocals again scorch the ground before them and at about 7:45, Wykan move into the kind of chug that might, say, have one headbanging in front of one’s laptop, before another speedy verse takes hold and they finish at their rawest and most extreme point.

This linear movement across Solace‘s three tracks might speak to the mindset of Perkins (also of black metallers Eohum) and company when it comes to a full-length release. The hard work before them will be to continue to integrate disparate stylistic elements into a cohesive whole, but they’ve clearly begun that process here, and the results are enticing even in their most purposefully abrasive stretches.

You can listen to “Wykan (The Shamanic Trance)” and get a closer look at the EP’s David Paul Seymour artwork below. PR wire info, as ever, follows.

Please enjoy:

Wykan, “Wykan (The Shamanic Trance)” official track premiere

Hitting the jam space and recruiting some special guests Matt McGachy (Cryptopsy) and Barrie Butler (Eohum), WYKAN’s debut EP “Solace” features three punishing tracks full of atmosphere and mystery where you can hear black metal rage meet the finest components of blues and harsh psych stoner riffs. The theme of the EP follows inspiration of Ethnobotany and magic along with a tribal take on ritual and ceremony. More specifically with the Northern European Tribes known as the Saami from Finland/Norway/Sweden areas of today and their usage of Amanita Muscaria mushroom for Shamanic practices. Overall, the EPs concept is a reminder of the brisk realities of our lives in relation to the spirit world.

“Wykan (The Shaman Trance) is the short-story / poetic take on the ceremony of drinking the brew of clarity (Amanita prepared brew) among the shaman’s hut and the trip commencement under influence of the Amanita Muscaria,” says band founder Jeremy Perkins.

Produced by Sowilo Arts
Written by Jeremy Perkins
Lyrics and Thematic by Jeremy Perkins
Artwork by David Paul Seymour

Recorded & Mixed at Silverwings Studios in Montreal Feb 2018 by Jonathan Lefrancois-Leduc.

Wykan is:
Vocals (intro) and Guitars: Jeremy Perkins
Drums: Morgan Zwicker
Bass: Daniel Paras

Featuring guest vocalist: Barrie Butler ( Eohum )

Wykan on Thee Facebooks

Wykan on Bandcamp

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One Response to “Wykan Premiere “Wykan (The Shamanic Trance)” from Debut EP Solace

  1. […] Wykan Premiere “Wykan (The Shamanic Trance)” from Debut EP Solace […]

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