Named after a 500-to-600-pound brown bear hero that was adopted by the Polish Artillery Division’s 2nd Corps and served as a morale booster to the troops during World War II, Italian sludge/doom metal act, Italian doom/sludge metal act WOJTEK just dropped their gruesome debut EP and we’ve teamed up to uncover inspirations and backstories about each of the 4 grinding tracks.
The arsenal of the combat bear consist in a muddy groove metal with a dark and gloomy taste, including glimpses of doom, stoner and noise. Seek shelter in the closest trench and cover your ears, we are coming for you and it’s gonna be louder than ever.
Asked about what promped them to form this band, they commented:
Wojtek was born in Padua (northern Italy) from 5 musicians involved in different local bands. Thats what our bio says, but in details me (Mattia), Babu and Morgan come from a band that lasted for more than 10 years until we got to a point when we felt the urge to start something new. We started Wojtek together with Red, a bassist that we always admired through the years, and we locked ourselves up in the rehearsal room ready to compose something new. After a couple of songs done we heard that another big boy of the local underground scene was free and searching for a band. We looked ourselves in the eyes and said: “this guy is the final piece, he has the right style and the right sound for what we re planning”. And that’s how Riccardo came onboard.
The monicker came from a recent trip in Edinburgh where I came across the burial site of Wojtek, I read its story and I was mindblowed. No objections from the other guys where made :)
Artwork by Riccardo Zulato (cikaslab.tumblr.com). Logo by View From The Coffin.
SINK IN IT
Riccardo: it’s the perfect opener of the Ep, there’s all: from crooked tempos to sick riffs, deadly openings with fiery screams, I think it contains many of the faces that will define Wojtek’s sounds from here until death.
Mattia: it’s a Song about sinking in a bottomless trench, and it screams with a lot of anger. Riccardo added the filthy atmospheres to Morgan’s riffs-on-roids. The result is pure dynamite: while recording the EP this song felt like we added some bassdrops but everything came from our instruments lol.
Riccardo: About Gothic Line, it’s the 1st song i proposed to the guys, they where enthusiast about this chaotic magma and so do I. The main theme comes out from touring with another band. I am self-taught with the guitar, so I lack the basis on how to hold a pick (LOL), and this means that I have an heavy hand and, to prevent breakage during shows, I often change the strings. So, to conclude, I stress new strings playing this riff that now is became a song.
Mattia: I remember when we first heard the gp version of the song. Everyone of us dropped their jaw with just the gp file. The lyrics are very evocative and recalls times during the WW2 when the Gothic Line was the epicentre of many battles (amongst them there was the Cassino’s battle where our favourite bear did its best)
Riccardo: that’s my favorite one, sick mid-tempo, probably i was fall in love with it cause is also the first song i started playing when i joined the family
Mattia: It’s a very filthy song, slow and magnetic. Lyrics came from a former band member and he asked me to keep the lyrics unchanged because it’s something he wrote to exorcise some very bad moments in his life.
AGAINST A THOUSAND
Riccardo: straight in the face, dashing and uncontrollable, a nightmare, like a bad trip during your xmas lunch.
Mattia: Probably our most satisfying song if you love hardcore. The bridge in the middle of the song it’s probably my favourite part. Great aggression overall.