While Book of Wyrms presented their brand of space doom with a mix of tempos on 2017’s Sci-fi/Fantasy, their second album doubles down on all things low and slow. With the exception of the quirky gallops on the eccentric “Undead Pegasus,” the songs on Remythologizer all fixate on dragging rhythms and muscular riffs with a sinister overcast. This seemingly lessened variety should work against the band but on the contrary, it highlights the growth that they’ve undergone between releases.
The songwriting is decidedly leaner and more focused this time around. Granted there’s still plenty of room for dynamic changeups and mood fluctuations, but a greater emphasis on straightforward riffs and steady grooves keeps the shifts from feeling too abrupt. “Autumnal Snow” sets a strong precedent with descending patterns and diabolical atmosphere that make a colossal return on the closing “Dust Toad.” The awesomely titled “Blacklight Warpriest” makes for another highlight thanks to its low-key execution of a more subtle structure.
It also helps that the band members sound more confident and have grown tighter as a unit. Despite losing a guitarist between efforts, six-stringer Kyle Lewis holds down the fort quite well with bassist Jay Lindsey helping to provide a strong fuzzy backbone. Sarah Moore-Lindsey has also stepped up considerably; she’s not exactly a powerhouse vocalist, but her delivery seems less reliant on echoing effects this time around. Her synth work is also more tastefully integrated, still putting in plenty of that sci-fi character without feeling too superfluous.
Overall, Book of Wyrms takes an already unique space doom sound in a leaner, more confident direction on their second album. On the surface, Remythologizer feels a little less adventurous than Sci-fi/Fantasy and the title is rather awkward to spit out, but a more grounded songwriting approach and tighter musicianship is where the band’s development shines through. Your preference for one album over another will depend on how your feelings on the presentation, but both efforts set up Book of Wyrms as a band to watch out for in the stoner doom scene!