Review: One More Word – Wheel of Suffering

One More Word are a modern metal outfit hailing from Hamburg, in the Northern part of Germany. Being formed in 2016 this relatively young band didn’t waste any time watching the grass grow, releasing their first work, a full-length entitled Effectus Pavonis, within a year. Now, only three years later, they have composed a successor to this well-received debut. It has been released last May and is called Wheel of Suffering. One Mord Word is a quintet, consisting of vocalist Julian “Jugy” Altemeier, guitarists David Lee “Dave” Prüß and Hendrik “Henne” Schmidt, bassist Wolfram “Wolle” Seiffert and drummer Alexander “Alex” Pinnecke. The lyrics are drawn from the serious issues the world and humanity have to face nowadays and how decisions we make influence and affect all this. Quite burdening and difficult subjects, but most definitely worth addressing. I for one am curious to find out how they have implemented such a heavy lyrical concept into their music.

Where they didn’t waste any time releasing work after being formed, One More Word deploys the same tactics when it comes to firing Wheel of Suffering up. Album opener Inner Demons fades in for about fifteen seconds before they fire from all cylinders. With some distinct metalcore influences and a vocal line that would definitely not be out of place in a metalcore band, there’s not a lot of mystery about where One More Word draws a lot of their inspiration from. However, that is definitely not the only source they tap from. If the howling guitar solo, the orchestral parts or the four (!) piano keys in this opener don’t make that clear, somewhere during the journey through the rest of this release something else undoubtedly will, as One More Word’s music has many faces. The vocals have an impressive range that, combined, span from clean smooth singing to foul black metal-ish growls (As you can hear in Trapped) and the music, though in essence mostly inspired by metalcore and the likes, jumps and frolics from one corner of the metal music world to another at times. As disturbing as that may sound and it usually is, in this case it actually turned out great. Wheel of Suffering is an in detail highly varied album with plenty of surprises, unexpected hooks and very interesting intermezzos here and there (Again, among others, to be heard in Trapped).

They have saved the biggest surprise for last, though. Where the ninth song of this release, Total Eclipse, ends with a bang, the album itself does not. The closing set of songs, Wheel of Suffering (Samsara) and Noah are, at least for the most part, surprisingly far from OMW’s core business. Where the first of the two after a moody, atmospheric first half and ending, complete with bird sounds, still has some power in the middle part, the latter is a remarkably sweet, soothing acoustic song that will ensure you’ll be very Zen when with it this release as a whole dies out.

One More Word definitely ticked a heap of boxes with their highly varied and often surprising sophomore release Wheel of Suffering. Although uncompromising core is undeniably the main course, the amount and diversity of the side dishes makes this, in my opinion, a brilliant release, most definitely worthy of a high spot in my year list. Regardless whether they, as they are a young band and all, will grow some more, they already are a force to be reckoned with. Most enjoyable, absolutely worth your time.

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