Wall of Water

Wall of Water

WALL OF WATER is a post-apocalyptic Black Metal project from multi-instrumentalist Cullen Toner and drummer […]
By H.P. Buttcraft
August 30, 2016
Wall of Water - Wall of Water album cover

WALL OF WATER is a post-apocalyptic Black Metal project from multi-instrumentalist Cullen Toner and drummer Shawn Eldridge, formerly the drummer of DISMA. WALL OF WATER is based out of New York and although the musicians are well under 30 years old, the band's experience come from playing, as they describe on their website, "90's style" Black Metal. For example, Cullen, a.k.a. Maelstrom, still makes music with his separate project ANGELCIDE and Cullen and Eldridge both belonged to the short lived band from the early 2000's ABYSMAL GATES.

The use of keyboards on the "Untitled" track make the group call back to bands like EMPEROR and TROLL. There is a cloak of darkness that forms when the synths begin to get incorporated into the thrashing and blasting that really adds to the emotions of the music. The vocals remind me a lot of Peter Espevoll of EXTOL; they are raspy enough to be ethereal but still have a humanity to it that is cemented in Punk and/or Hardcore.

More of these crust influences that WALL OF WATER uses break through during the voyage they take us on in the song "Clairvoyance". This song particularly exposes the band's apocalyptic vision for the future of our planet. The band's vision of a wall of water coming from our great oceans and devouring the land, destroying everything in its wake as a result of the greed and ugliness of humanity. And in awe of this unstoppable cataclysm, how the listener finds themselves face to face with the stark wonder of the void. This void that I write about is a continuous theme in the exploration of the music of Black Metal and that particular motif continues to keep the genre from growing irrelevant to this day.

I can imagine that these songs performed live are insanely effective had moving people, even if the people aren't physically moving themselves. The music of WALL OF WATER moves itself through you and there is just no helping that. Its entirely up to the listener about how they want to manage themselves once its found its way inside of them.

Some of the production of this record is a bit amateurish. I don't want to hold it to an independent band like that but some of the mixing decisions and recording takes on some of these songs really set the quality of this release back. For example, the choppy editing of "Water Of Life" along with the clumsy synthesizer tracking really make this a listening experience that I would care not to repeat. This track along with "Astral Hauntings" are two dark atmospheric compositions that find there way onto this record and contribute precious little to the overall vibe of this record and makes it not as enjoyable.

Overall, I think that WALL OF WATER, while at times underwhelming, was a very solid and dark Black Metal act worthy of a listen. I think even hardcore fans of the genre can find something to enjoy with this, particularly the members of the Black Metal old guard who hold 90's Black Metal in such high regard.

7 / 10









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"Wall of Water" Track-listing:
  1. Untitled
  2. No Moment Of Clarity
  3. Water Of Life
  4. Exposure
  5. Clairvoyance
  6. Astral Hauntings
Wall of Water Lineup:

Cullen Toner - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Bass
Shawn Eldridge - Drums

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