It is great that Wand has set this prolific pace for recording. Their first album, Ganglion Reef (QRO review), only came out under a year ago and here is Golem. They even have more demos on Soundcloud for those interested. Golem is trippier and more experimental than Ganglion Reef, but it is still metal and has unique fuzzy riffs. This release may not be as polished as the first album, but it is still good in a spectral way.
Whether or not they should reel in the noise level, it is clear that Wand has a combination of psychedelic intelligence and angst in their music. This shows in the opening song on Golem, “The Unexplored Map”, in which they hit the psychedelic noise over a metal riff. The album gets a little messy after that, and the next decent number is “Melted Rope”, which is a little folky and softer. “Flesh Tour” is the best piece on the album, and the only one that shows off the guitar melodies they proved capable of in Ganglion Reef. “Floating Head” is solid, and the almost classic rock soloing makes it worth listening to. “Planet Golem” is fitting as the title track, being the loudest and most metal song on Golem.
The final piece, “The Drift”, is just that, a drift, it follows the experimental loop driven style that is popular right now. As much as it is hard to hear the lyrics in this album, in this one “This world is unfair” can be heard and seems to fit the metal and angst of the album. Golem is not as good as their previous release, Ganglion Reef, and is only nine songs, some of which are pointless. Nevertheless, call it ‘skater metal’, but Wand is great.