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Howden/Wakeford - Wormwood

Wormwood is the latest release to spring from the Howden/Wakeford axis, a collaboration between Tony Wakeford, the benign dictator of Sol Invictus, and Matt Howden composer, Sieben member, impresario of his own redroom studio, and up until recently a member of Sol Invictus. Wormwood follows the widely acclaimed Three Nine release but Wormwood feels more rounded and much more vibrant. Three Nine took its inspiration from the third and ninth rune, and while it was inspired by European history, in many ways Wormwood feels altogether more English.

Wormwood consists of a number of collaborative vocal tracks interspersed with a number of instrumental pieces, often as on 'The Star Is Wormwood', that appear as recurring motifs. Besides the singular guitar playing style of 'Brief as a Flower' and 'Care Sunday' there's very little reminiscent of Sol Invictus. Tony's booming folk voice throughout Wormwood is framed by harpsichord and violin. The words to 'The Wormwood Tree' and 'Care Sunday' are delivered in chant-like unison. 'The Wormwood Tree' is almost minimal, while 'Care Sunday' is a jaunty folk outing with an upfront violin melody and a lyric that offers a nice line in Christian baiting.

On 'The Lamb' Matt recites from Bergman's Seventh Seal over a sparse backdrop of aching violin, bass, rolling drums and nightmare effects. Wormwood closes with the poppiest track yet penned by Wakeford / Howden. 'The Wormwood Doll' is a tantalising organ driven magickal murder ballad that almost appears out of sorts with the rest of Wormwood.

Matt Howden recently relinquished his role in Sol Invictus but take solace in these collaborations which will delight all those with an interest in the work of Wakeford and Howden. Wormwood is recommended to all. Wormwood is available direct from both and and at concerts. Compulsion online has 1 of 400 numbered copies signed by both Tony Wakeford and Matt Howden to give away, plus 1 copy of Sol Invictus Live Brugge. To enter our competition just answer one simple question on the editorial page.