CARDINAL WYRM: The Obelisk Hosts Exclusive Stream Of Devotionals Full-Length From Oakland Doom Trio With Members Of Vastum, Terebellum, And More; Album Sees Release Friday

photos by Michael Thorn

This Friday, Oakland, California-based doom trio CARDINAL WYRM will unveil their fourth album, Devotionals. The Obelisk is now hosting an exclusive stream entire album ahead of its release.

CARDINAL WYRM is embodied by lead vocalist/drummer Pranjal Tiwari (S.C.R.A.M.), bassist/vocalist Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Terebellum, Hammers Of Misfortune, Fyrhtu), and guitarist/vocalist Nathan A. Verrill (Terebellum, Fyrhtu). The follow-up to their Cast Away Souls album, released via Svart Records in 2016, Devotionals can be described as heavy, intricate, driving, progressive, and genre-bending music that seeks to tell a story.

Devotionals was recorded and mixed by Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios (Necrot, Vastum, Brainoil) and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Obituary, Sunn O))), Vastum). The record features striking cover artwork by Kim Holm, photography by Michael Thorn and Amy Oshit, and layout/design by Shelby Lermo.

The Obelisk writes in part within the intense review accompanying the advance stream of the album, “A strange thing happens when one encounters Devotionals in repeat fashion. Usually with records, the more you hear, the more you know, but CARDINAL WYRM manage to answer engagement with nuance, and there always seems to be something else to hear. That might not seem to be the case on a first listen. One might put it on, be like, ‘Okay, trad metal, bit of doom, punk, and so on,’ and go about the day – and if that’s how you listen to music the first time through, I feel you – but even as the guitar solo rises up in the back end of ‘Canticle’ only to be consumed by howls, or ‘Abbess’ gallops into a wall o’ chug, ‘Nightmarchers’ indulges Candlemassian grandiosity while also coating it in grit and closer ‘Do We Have Another Battle Left in Us?’ offers a questioning self-assessment of the band that of course speaks to much, much more as well in this most confusing and terrible of years, CARDINAL WYRM find persona in grim intricacy, tearing limbs off different microgenres to construct a monster of their own.”

Tune in and hear CARDINAL WYRM’s entire Devotionals album early only through The Obelisk at THIS LOCATION.

Devotionals will see release cassette and digital this Friday, December 11th. Find preorders HERE and watch for a vinyl edition to drop next year.

Tiwari offers, “Devotionals was a labor of love. We’re all immensely proud of these songs and put a lot of work into getting them just right. It’s been a somewhat hard road to releasing this album, we pretty much had to do all the heavy lifting ourselves, with no support from labels or anything. At times it really felt like we were crazy, that we were the only people in the world that believed in this record, like some mad group of preachers ranting on a street corner while the world walked past bemused. Add to that the whole saga of physical, mental, and financial turmoil that we’ve all experienced in 2020, it’s pretty much been a shitshow all around. Now that the album is finally seeing the light of day, I think it’s perfect that we chose the title Devotionals. It takes something extra to keep going through times like this, it takes an almost fanatical devotion to keep walking a path that can seem both pointless and hopeless. In that sense, it’s also perfect that we put this album out ourselves, because I think that sort of fanatical devotion I’ve described is exactly what fuels the DIY spirit and the independent music scene that we’ve all been a part of for so many years.

There seems to be a lot of talk about whether this record is ‘doom’ or not, even among people who have enjoyed the album. My response is, who cares? This is a CARDINAL WYRM record – and I absolutely think what you’re hearing on Devotionals is the culmination of the CARDINAL WYRM sound. For starters, all three of us had a hand in writing and shaping every song on this record at the practice space, it’s our most collaborative album to date. But beyond that, I think you can really hear the sound of a band that loves playing together, and whose members had an absolute blast recording these songs. I think that energy and that spirit shines through. For me, arguing about what category to shoehorn this album into is about as boring as you can get, I’d rather people just take the time to listen to it with an open mind and absorb it for what it is – after that you can call it whatever you like.”