Wooden Stake rise from their dusty cultic resting place of death and doom armed with their second full-length torch lit, midnight offering from Razorback Records, A Feast Of Virgin Souls. Ten dark opuses of growling, singing and chanting bloodlust that creep down the corridor with a bony white hand sticking out from the black robe, offering dark clandestine invites. The alluring, seductive spoken/sung vocals of Vanessa Nocera summon any initiate into the circle and her demonic, serpentine growl and demon speak could cast down any unworthy soul into the pit. Her bass could bring forth the hounds of hell if needed for a midnight hunt and burning.
New guitarist and drummer, Willie Wardlaw can make the dead rise and dance to his fretting and pound decayed skulls under his drum kit. Feast is a concept piece with cover art by Mario Lopez. The disk tells the dual story of the most blood-thirsty, wicked and psychopathically delusional demoness in history with hundreds of drained female bodies under her feet, Elizabeth Bathory and a young woman taken in by the presence of a female vampire Carmilla. In a vampiric story predating Dracula.
They struck ground in 2010 with the Vampire Plague Exorcism demo earning critical underground acclaim. After a bloodbath of smaller releases, after sundown, they revealed their debut full-length, Dungeon Prayers & Tombyard Serenades via Razorback with strong global feedback, including black metal royalty, Darkthrone’s Fenriz. With high YouTube voyeurism word spread to the depraved coven of their reigning dominion. In 2012 they unleashed At The Stroke Of Midnight. The stakes were high again three years later for the pointed hat wisdom of A Feast Of Virgin Souls.
Nocera spends the disk exhaling the sounds of hell as wicked and seductive as they all sound. Whether it’s hissing through the Necronomicon, growling from the gates or spoken word chanting from the cursed midnight air she gets her point across, often with an almost folk-like quality to her lips throwing down the blackness. Spewing out tales of vampiric murder, stockpiling innocent souls or recanting stories pre-Count, the music they create, compliments the spirits conjured. From the first song and evil chord, the book of spells is open and the virgins are aligned on the floor.
Bell towers sound off on “Dead Winter Resurrection” as bass creeps into the steeple. Dark wind raked atmosphere seeps from the underground like post-mortem mist escaping, welcoming the night. “Rise from the Bleeding Coffin” has an unholy nocturne resurrection with guitars roaring out the eternally foul spirit. The title track rocks out like classic Mercyful Fate with necro-vocals and hypnotic hails; praising the Countess as she bathes in butchered crimson innocence.
Guitars growl and howl out with wolves teeth on “Alzbeta! The Devils Bitch.” Spreading a metallic rash of praise and rhythmic basement chants, slamming down pieces of dark Sabbath for the dripping meat grinder. Wardlaw’s fingers get down, dirty and downright nasty during “Dragged through the Rotted Catacombs” pulling pale bodies through the darkened tunnels.
“Hanging from the Inverted Cross,” the worlds turned upside down through the eyes of the damned and it’s the ultimate head rush before the reaper comes. At “1140 Rue Royale” guitars slow down and churn, finishing with hysterical laughter and screams leaving us with the “Curse of the Cauldron Countess.”
You can turn it off now, happy you’ve escaped. Or play it again for those that love courting hell-fire.