Review – Oozing Wound’s Whatever Forever

Contrary to its apathetic title, Whatever Forever is Oozing Wound‘s most focused and sinister record yet.

The Oozing Wound I fell in love with back in 2013 were a playful bunch of chaps. On debut album Retrash, they brought stoner fuzz sensibilities up to a thrash tempo, perfectly willing to drag high-energy riffs out for minutes on end until they grew ripe on the vine and an earworm burrowed out from the rotten core and into your ill-prepared skull.

2014 brought us their second record, Earth Suck, where they weighed more heavily on the sludgy characteristics of their sound and got just plain weird. They tested both neck muscles and patience by ending the record with the same four 16th notes repeated over and over for THREE GODDAMN MINUTES while the drums only grow more sparse and primal. This album actually didn’t click with me for over a year after first hearing it, but I now consider it among my favorite heavy albums of the decade.

The possibility that this new record may be a “grower” weighed on my mind as I pressed play on this newfangled third LP, Whatever Forever, but NOPE, I loved it immediately. I listened to it four times in a row after the first go-around and only heard more layers I liked upon each successive listen.

What struck me first were the vocals – either the reverb has been turned down dramatically, or Zack Weil’s wailings have just gotten more desperate sounding. Either way, they sound far more vulnerable and just plain scarier than on previous recordings. The next thing I noticed was that there’s a lot more guitar parts with rung open strings forming chords I would describe as “pretty,” and they contrast beautifully with the bleak shouting. These two components are what make this record feel so much more evil than they ever have before – if previous Oozing Wound records made me want to throw a keggar in the woods with my best friends, Whatever Forever makes me want to crash that very keggar to slash my friends’ throats and burn the bodies.

I can’t shake the idea that Oozing Wound actually managed to accidentally make a black metal record without relying on any obvious tropes of the genre; at least, that’s what I hear when I absorb the misanthropic beauty at 3:50 of lead single “Diver” and the primal agony of the verse riff in “Weather Tamer”.

The bottom line is that Oozing Wound reinvented themselves without losing their identity and they still fucking slay. I’ll always have a place in my heart for the sardonic, stoned Chicago punk-metallers I knew, but I can’t wait to hear what this new vicious new phase of the band has to offer.

4 out of 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell


Whatever Forever comes out this Friday, October 14th. Preorder it here and be sure to catch them on tour in the next month if you live in any of these cities.

Oct. 12 –  Minneapolis, MN – Rathole
Oct. 13 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverwest Public House
Oct. 14 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
Oct. 15 – Hazel Park, MI – Cellarman’s*
Oct. 16 – Toronto, ON – The Baby G*
Oct. 17 – Albany, NY – Low Beat*
Oct. 18 – Providence, RI – Aurora*
Oct. 19 – Brooklyn, NY – Shea Stadium*
Oct. 20 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie*
Oct. 21 – Washington, D.C. – Slash Run
Oct. 22 – Durham, NC – The Pinhook
Oct. 24 – Winston-Salem, NC – The Garage
Oct. 25 – Knoxville, TN – Pilot Light
Oct. 26 – Louisville, KY – Kaiju
Oct. 27 – Athens, OH – The Union
Oct. 28 – Detroit, MI – UFO
* with Electric Hawk

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Published on: October 11, 2016

Filled Under: Reviews

Views: 994

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  • W.

    Oozing Wound are rad. I was really looking forward to this album after jamming the preview track for TTT. I think OW are the third head of the weird thrash trinity with Vektor and Dimesland (and Voivod looking on approvingly as an elder statesman).

    <3 PB.

    • Óðinn

      Is Dimesland still together, what with Drew Cook’s death and all? Psychogenic Atrophy was a pretty good album. Maybe these bands will tour together, and call it the The Big Weird 3.

      • W.

        I’m friends with Nolan on Facebook. I think he is still writing and performing, but sadly I don’t think he’s touched Dimesland since his brother died. Here’s to hoping he does.

        • Óðinn

          Yes. I hope they continue at some point. Thanks, W.

        • cooklotd

          Hey guys, this is Nolan Cook from Dimesland. I just want to address the questions that have arisen here regarding DL and the loss of my brother. We will continue on with the group and I am about halfway through the writing of a new full-length. I am also working on resurrecting the live act with some new musicians. Keep an ear/eye out for us next year!

      • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

        Here’s my thrash dream tour:

        Flotsam And Jetsam
        Toxic Holocaust
        Meliah Rage

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      Nobody mentions “weird thrash” in Frank’s presence, without Frank mentioning Coroner.

      • W.

        Elder Statesman.

    • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

      Voivod is so good though. My big 4 of third tier thrash is Flotsam and Jetsam, Meliah Rage, Helstar and Toxik. For weird thrash my big 4 includes Vektor, Voivod, these guys and Dimesland.

      • more beer

        You only like Toxik because they are from your area. I saw them open for probably a half a dozen bands. Back in the day. They weren’t that good. Not even third tier. These guys were a much better local thrash band playing that on that scene back then. Also i am way up in the front of this album cover!

      • Ayreonaut

        Mine would have to be exodus, testament, overkill, and probably voivoid or slayer. Those bands just spoke to me so much more than the big ones and really turned me on to good stuff

        • Ayreonaut

          Maybe death angel too. Hard to pick. Although for all the hate it gets, act 3 has come to be my favorite DA album

    • Damage_Inc89

      Hmmm, who’s this Dimesland? I’ll have to check them out if you’re mentioning them alongside Vektor. I’ve only heard a little bit of Oozing Would so far, but I definitely like them.

  • Elegant Gazing Globe
  • Óðinn
  • Óðinn

    It’s a bit Doom-y. Interesting.

  • Abradolf Lincler

    never really checked them out but of the three videos posted, i definitely prefer the latest iteration. i can see a little BM tinge but i think thats just the vocal delivery. in all honesty, though, it got a bit monotonous. and not in the hypnotic black metal sense.

    3 shrugs / 5

  • Joaquin Stick

    HE STEPPED ON A GARSH DANG DOGGO!!!!! This is rad though. Will be checking it out on Friday for sure.

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    This seems fairly interesting! Thanks HessianHunter, I’m going to check this after work.

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    Never heard of this band, but this is quite tasty.

  • You want to slash your friends’ throats? Seek help. 🙂

  • Listening at last. It’s like fast sludge with tinges of noise rock? Hard to pin down yet inexplicably familiar.

  • Waynecro

    I can’t really get into Oozing Wound, but this is a mighty fine review, HessianHunter. Thanks!

  • Ayreonaut

    Once again, I would totally catch them live, but absolutely FUCK the idea of having fun to go to new york city.

  • NDG

    These dues are rad. Can’t wait to hear the whole album.