The Smashing Skull Sessions

The Smashing Skull Sessions is a podcast, interview and review website, set up to showcase and support the underground rock and metal scenes. Our goal is to promote artists and bands from right across the globe, giving them another voice and another forum in which to get their music out to a greater audience. We also have a new review series, The Review Room, which is another unique way of getting bands and artists some extra coverage and promotion

WuW - L'Orchaostre

What do the bands Year of No Light, Gojira, Lyzanxia, One Way Mirror and WuW have in common? Well, first of all they are all French and second, they all have, or had, two brothers playing in them. Since I love the music of all of those bands mentioned, I say “quite some musical genes, mes frères!

So what we can learn from this little bit of trivia is that WuW hail from France, they have two brothers in the band and I love their music. To add to the brother fact: WuW, the band consists of only two members, the aforementioned brothers, Benjamin and Guillaume Colin. Both are classically trained and are inspired by classical music, free jazz and drone and have been making lo-fi Experimental post-doom epics in the vein of Year of no Light, Dirge and Omega Massif since 2016 (as stated on their bandcamp page). Well I totally dig Dirge and love Omega Massif (RIP, but two awesome bands Cranial and Phantom winter where born out of it so the OM spirit lives on) and YONL of course, who are my favourite band, so when I read this they got my attention right away.

WuW released their debut album Rien ne nous sera épargné in 2018 and the sophomore Rétablir l’éternité in 2020. Pelagic Records recognised their talents and potential and signed them for this third album called L’orchaostre which was released in february.

There are five songs on L’orchaostre, simply called Orchaostre 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and the entire album takes a bit less then 42 minutes in total. The content of these 42 minutes is nothing short of impressive, as all five instrumental pieces are so well composed and performed. You can expect a wall of sound with various styles, layers and experimentations to it. Classically trained does not mean you should expect to hear classical in the choice of instrumentation (like BRUIT ≤ does), but classical more in the way of composing and arranging I guess. Experimentation is also done by the choice of their equipment and the use of it. The guitars, bass guitars and drum kit of the brothers are real oldies from the 1960’s and in their own studio, they dare to experiment with modern effects in different kinds of (self built) pedals, electronics and organ. This gives their music an interesting and unique sound, where nostalgia meets modernism.

The overal tempo, especially of the drums is slow, and that is what gives this album that doom atmosphere. Every now and then the tempo goes up to a climax, like at the end in_ Orchaostre_ 2 and 5 for example. I can hear two layers of guitars in the sound and they alternate it between slow, low-tuned heavy, melodic passages, to going fast in riffing and wailing. The bass is put in there prominently to give that drone feeling, and I love it. The use of reverb, loops and psychedelic soundscapes in the background deliver more layers to the sound. The album bursts, it grooves, it dwells, it repeats, it explores, it peaks.

Album closer, and my personal favourite, 5, has all of this in one song. Starting melodic and growing into a thick post-metal sound that changes into an up-tempo swinging psychedlic explosion. Those drum patterns and rhythms at the end give that song so much body. On the climax, the sounds end, and with that, the album comes to a close. Automatically, you put it on repeat, because there is so much to explore in here. I wonder how they will deliver this in live situations!

With bands like YONL, Psychonaut, BRUIT ≤, Briqueville and Pg.Lost on the Pelagic roster, WuW find themselves surrounded with bands that are top of their genres. With L’orchaostre they prove to fit right in there, both stylistically and in quality, and I think they are in the right momentum now. A name we are going to hear more of in the coming years, and I’m sure this album will expand their fanbase drastically, and I expect to see it on many endlists this year. Job well done mes amis!