London based sludge metal act Wren have gone through numerous line-up changes over the last few years, but the now settled four-piece are back in action with their new album for Holy Roar Records, titled Auburn Rule. This one follows the acclaimed Host EP from 2016, and picks up right where that one left off with their mix of progressive sludge, post metal, hardcore, and a touch of atmospheric doom. Think Isis, Neurosis, and a touch of Amenra for a reference point and you have an idea of where these Brits are coming from, the pulsating sounds of "Scour the Grassland" to the more textured passages of "The Herd" show a band that likes to lock into a groove and either pound you into snails pace submission or offer layer upon layer of sonic debris. "Traverse" has some hefty riffs, but the real brontosaurus stomp comes in the form of the expertly titled "Dwellers of the Sepulchr", the killer closer that is easily the strongest track here, containing some mighty riffs, creepy atmosphere, and haunting vocals throughout its near 9-minute length.
Perhaps lacking a bit of variety but still plenty heavy enough, Auburn Rule is a very solid release from Wren for anyone with an affinity for hard hitting sludge/post metal.
1) In Great Yield
2) Scour the Grassland
3) The Herd
5) Dwellers of the Sepulchr