Wounded Giant hails from Seattle, so it’s perhaps no surprise that there’s a heavy dose of Melvins in their sound. Vae Victis is the band’s second full-length album, after 2013’s Lightning Medicine, but like many in the noise rock community, they’re released a few splits and EPs in between—including a live cassette tape.
This album opens with its title track, “Vae Victis” gradually building up to a frenzied, nine-and-a-half-minute piece of post sludge. Some of the drumbeats bring Dale Crover to mind. After a couple minutes, they settle into a head-nodding chug-a-lug as the anguished vocals make their initial appearance, sounding more akin to Unsane than the Melvins. There are definitely some tasty grooves here; I particularly enjoy the sludgy riff that first appears past the 5:30 mark. A similarly delicious riff underpins “Dysthiest,” with cleaner vocals that kinda sound like Cobain on the chorus.
The opening riff of “Scum of the Earth” sounds like Fu Manchu on Drano; a plodding, meandering, pretty decent piece of noise rock. “The Room of the Torch” kinda reminds me of some good ol’ Georgia sludge—CVI era Royal Thunder with a pinch of Zoroaster and a dash of Kylesa, while “Green Scar” has some sonic similarities to Sleep’s “Holy Mountain.” Can’t really go wrong with any of that, can you?