Wren - Auburn Rule album review

Post-metal miserablists seeking the direct route down

Cover art for Wren - Auburn Rule album

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Coming from the more desolate end of post-metal, Wren have used their ultra-dark palette to paint a mural of pain and desperation. Keeping the overarching themes and lyrical content as vague as possible, the London-based four-piece’s earthy sludge is relentlessly bleak, offering little in the way of salvation. At just five tracks long, there are still many paths to take on this journey of ruin, all of them abrasive, all layered in gloom and anguish. Taking cues from the likes of Amenra, Wren’s discordant, menacing nature doesn’t lend itself well to parties, instead needing to be heard in its entirety. The live setting is where they will thrive, allowing the subtleties to fill the space and not be lost in the dingy mix. Dripping in the thickest, blackest tar, sticking to your skin, Wren are brooding, jagged, and umpteen shades of heavy, but lack cohesion and never find that groove they’re looking for, no matter how shimmering and otherworldly their sound may be. No doubt their next passage of discovery will continue further into the darkness.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.