Wooden Stake put out their second full-length, A Feast of Virgin Souls, in March, and the release features some wickedly gruesome and cover art. Actually, the artwork created by Mario Lopez — no, not the one from Saved by the Bell, but the one who has created art for the likes of Agitator, Possessor, and Warstorm — conjures images of the old Hammer Films for me. And despite the violent cover art, Wooden Stake is more NWOBHM than death metal or black metal, however, vocalist/bassist Vanessa Nocera does shred her throat with some death growls.-inspired
If you head on over to Wooden Stake’s Bandcamp page, you can hear the 10-track A Feast of Virgin Souls in its entirety and understand what I’m talking about with regard to the band’s sound. While you’re there, go ahead and spend the paltry $5 for the album download.
The album is a concept offering influenced by the legend of serial-killer countess Elizabeth Bathory and 1871 Gothic novella Carmilla by Joseph Steridan Le Fan, A Feast Of Virgin Souls is at once punishing and alluring.
A Feast of Virgin Souls Track Listing:
1. Dead Winter Resurrection
2. Rise From The Bleeding Coffin
3. A Feast Of Virgin Souls
4. Alzbeta: The Devil’s Bitch
5. Cross-Scalded Flesh
6. Exorcising The Possessed
7. Dragged Through The Rotted Catacombs
8. Hanging From The Inverted Cross
9. 1140 Rue Royale
10. Curse Of The Cauldron Countess
About Wooden Stake:
Wooden Stake emerged in 2010 with the release of their Vampire Plague Exorcism demo, which earned the critical exaltation of the underground extreme doom metal scene. A tidal wave of seven-inch releases, including a split with Druid Lord in 2011 (Altsphere Production) and Blizaro (Razorback Records) the same year, would ensue. Wooden Stake undraped their debut full-length, Dungeon Prayers & Tombyard Serenades, later that year via Razorback and again reaped critical acclaim from underground metallers globally, including Darkthrone’s Fenriz who chose Wooden Stake as his Band Of The Month.
The album received thousands of plays on YouTube and spread like plague to those who craved extreme doom/death metal with a simultaneously melodic and violent edge. Blabbermouth hailed, “The combination of [former guitarist/drummer] Sarantopoulos’ mighty, dread-spreading riffs and Nocera’s macabre tales and behemoth bass lines constitute a big reason why Dungeon Prayers & Tombyard Serenades is such a compelling release,” while American Aftermath noted, “the music is fuzzy and droning, and the atmosphere sends a cool chill down your spine, but there is something about this band that makes even the most morbid songs seem nice and soothing.” Added Cvlt Nation, “the band is incredibly atmospheric and have managed to carve out their own unique style that blends everything from to Obituary to Hellhammer to Jex Thoth to Electric Wizard,” furthering, “The spoken word vocal approach pushes you into a surreal state of melancholy which doesn’t last long as it is soon destroyed by some earth-shattering, old-school riffage and hypnotic gloomy atmosphere.”
In 2012, Wooden Stake unleashed At The Stroke Of Midnight, a collection of demo and EP material as well as exclusive canticle, “Night Of The Banshee,” recorded specifically for the release. The next two years saw Nocera busy with her two other projects, Skeletal Spectre and Howling. In 2015, Wooden Stake returns with the witchy wisdom of A Feast Of Virgin Souls. Featuring Nocera alongside new guitar player and drummer, Willie Wardlaw, the record is out now on Razorback Records with a future vinyl version on the horizon. Further Wooden Stake developments, including live ceremonies, to be announced in the coming weeks. Until then, suffer.
Rock Hard \m/