Album Review: Ward XVI – Metamorphosis (Metal Rocka Recordings)

After much torture, self-harm, dementing and terrorizing, Ward XVI (sixteen if you don’t know your numerals) unleash their sophomore album, ‘Metamorphosis’!

A mother’s love, formed in a haze of dolls and daisies is blackened by merciless addiction. A little girl seeks protection from the broken and abandoned, anything to quell the monster that comes at night.

Corrupted by unspeakable cruelty, pious innocence undergoes a malevolent transformation. The elation of a first kill and the debauchery that ensues, culminating in a desperate run from the law.

Deep inside the walls of Whittingham Asylum, the new inmate is tortured mercilessly at the hands of those who keep her. Consumed by a ferocious rage, she succumbs to the comfort of insanity. What emerges from the shadows is more evil and profane than any of her tormentors could have imagine.

Documenting the transition of Psychoberrie from little girl to insanity, ‘Metamorphosis’ challenges everything you think you know about the notorious fiend. Travel back to the very beginning and ask yourself, is evil born or made?

The band comments:

We’re very excited to bring you the sequel to the debut album. ‘Metamorphosis’ will be the darkest but probably the most important piece of the jigsaw detailing the making of the serial killer we came to both love and fear during the first album.

We are a lot more confident about who we are with our sound and as a performing band compared to the first album, and as the line-up had changed somewhat the decision-making process was much more straightforward, less forced and less stressful.

Metamorphosis will be released on September 25th 2020 via Metal Rocka Recordings.

As massive horror fans, the appeal of Ward XVI and Metamorphosis is there before a single note has been played. The shock rockers offering up a tale that looks to delight and chill in equal measures. Does the 11-track album rely that story and is it as exciting as the ‘synopsis’ promises to be?

Yes, and bloody yes!

It begins with an atmospheric recording of the titular character Psychoberrie talking to a sinister sounding doctor in the institution she is housed in. He asks her to cast her mind back to her childhood and thus we begin.

The lullaby that introduces The Cradle Song brings no comfort, the atmosphere growing as the sound of a crying child begins. The voice of a woman, the mother, comforts the child as the lullaby turns dark and comes to halt leading to the arrival of Ward XVI. Mixing energetic and playful circus style rhythm with mournful, darkly tinged melodies and driven by a monumental vocal performance.

It’s a hell of a start but the real horror is just ramping up with Mister Babadook (inspired by the excellent film) and the twisted playfulness pairing of Daisy Chains and Broken Toys. The tone is cute but warped, Ward XVI having a ton of fun while also ensuring the music is up to scratch as they tell their story.

Although, that’s not suggest there isn’t a more serious tone also running through the album. Something that develops in a more atmospheric way as the story develops. Imago is dripping in gloominess, A Goodnight Shot makes good use of symphonic elements and Burn the Witch provides an eerie taste of faraway places. Although the latter track really comes alight in the second half with an absolute screeching guitar solo and hotter tempo.

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Although if it’s a more frantic offering you’re looking for, Catch Me If You Can is the one to hear. The speed reflecting the chase that is going on within the story (kick-ass drum beat too).

Which brings us to the end. The Verdict confirming the suffering dished out to Psychoberrie and the punishment for her crimes. Followed by the skulking gloom of Shadows, the melody weighty and profound making for an almost sad ending.

It’s a marathon listen, simply because of the story that is being told, but it is more than worth the time and energy.

Ward XVI – Metamorphosis Full Track Listing:

1. Retrogression
2. The Cradle Song
3. Mister Babadook
4. Daisy Chains
5. Broken Toys
6. Imago
7. A Goodnight Shot
8. Burn The Witch
9. Catch Me If You Can
10. The Verdict
11. Shadows


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Ward XVI - Metamorphosis (Metal Rocka Recordings)
  • The Final Score - 9/10
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