Speechless. I don’t use that word to often and when I do, it’s usually for something good. If I had to describe The Black Code by Wo Fat, their first for Small Stone Records, with one word, the album would get Speechless. I don’t know what it is about this band, they tend to do that to me a lot too. Their last album, Noche del Chupacabra, did that to me too. In fact, I don’t think I was ever not impressed with anything this band put out in the past.
As soon as The Black Code opens, You’re greeted by heavy as fuck monstrous riffs. The album just flows from start to finish, song to song in an almost seamless fashion. Riff after riff you’re taken back for a nice ride. The guitars in “The Shard of Leng” are just fantastic. They’re head pounding and ass kicking. The song seems like it’s half jam track half normal song. The song is about 12 minutes long and the first half is nothing but instrumental until the lyrics kick in halfway through.
I tell you, I’ve heard good albums, bad albums, and a lot in between. So far not much has stacked up to the level in which Wo Fat records. They get all heavy and doomy in a nice updated fashion. They’re not trying to sound retro like a lot of bands do. Instead, Wo Fat keeps it updated and fresh. The bluesy addition to both the lead and rhythm guitars through helps give it that great sound. The slight addition of some heavy psych mixed in here and there as well as the classic and southern rock help add to the greatness of this album. If you have a real good sound system or headphones, you’ll really be able to hear the full effect of the album. Make sure you crank up the volume too, this album demands to be played loud.
Guitarist and vocalist Kent Stump recorded the album and mixed it. The always excellent Chris Goosman did a beautiful job mastering this album. The Black Code is due out on CD on November 13th, 2012 (180gm vinyl sometime afterwards) from Small Stone Records. Stream “Lost Highway” below and hear for yourself what speechless is all about.