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Rating:
8.2
Wildernessking - The Writing Of Gods In The Sand
23 February 2012


01. Rubicon
02. Discovery
03. River
04. Utopia
05. Surrender
06. Reveal
07. Infinity


Metal from South Africa is pretty rare in general, and you would especially not expect black metal from this country. Wildernessking are one of those bands and I am pretty sure they are not the last. The Writing Of Gods In The Sand, that's how their debut is entitled (cool name I think), and funny thing: the title contains as many words as all the one-word song titles together. The cover artwork is wild, maybe too wild but definitely worth looking at.

As you could guess from above, there are seven songs on this record that rock for 46 minutes in total. The genre is black metal, with many progressive elements and here and there some doom. When I was listening to the album, it caught me from the first moment. Definitely one of the best album beginnings, when the opener "Rubicon" starts with pure metal that is as black and white as the album cover. Vocalist Keenan Nathan Oakes does an incredible job, his vocals are trver than those of many Norwegian shriekers. Wildernessking also have good guitarists. Both do their deeds greatly and the riffs they play show how much potential is in this quartet. The best example is the track "Reveal," an instrumental song with some really awesome riffs. But the track also shows one of the (minor) negative sides of the album which is the inconsistent production. It's overall on the typical black metal level, which is good, but there are moments when the tune is somehow different from the rest. It doesn't always sound like it's been made by the same people, but that's a problem which can be solved by good producers, if they only keep the black metal sound!!!

Going through the record, the second song is one of two long ones. My first thought was that the song is too long, but it took me only a second listen to realize that it's actually pretty great, with more doom elements and good atmospheric attempts. I like how the song gets destroyed by the drums in the end, nice idea and well implemented. Another track worth being mentioned is the third one called "River." Really enjoyable with both catchy and dissonant riffs, and every time in the middle of this song there comes the moment when I think "Gorgoroth called, they want their talent back."

So where will this band be in a few years? They must gain experience and a little more feeling for the great riffs. There are those riffs that can make a band famous, but they could be more extended to become memorable. Of course no one expects perfect music from a young band in a country that is overlooked by the main metal scene. Wildernessking are very well on their way nevertheless and to be honest, I wouldn't have expected such a good debut. But now I am curious what happens next to them. The potential is already there, and therefore: black metal for Africa!

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 7


 



Written on 22.01.2012 by
Windrider
"The future is not guaranteed, all we have is today.
And Today, we have Metal." - Karl Sanders
More reviews by Windrider ››



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Boxcar Willy - 22.01.2012 at 17:14  
Nice review!

Cover art is amazing.
malaikat - 22.01.2012 at 17:58  
Damn, BoxCar, do you eat, sleep and live on Metalstorm?
Asunder - 22.01.2012 at 19:59  
I'm surprised there aren't more S. African black metal bands. It makes perfect sense to me.
snake? snaaaake! - 22.01.2012 at 20:41  
Actually South Africa has a pretty cool scene in Pretoria.
Merchant of Doom - 23.01.2012 at 10:58  
I listened to a couple of tracks on bandcamp and I dig it a lot! Musically, they remind me a bit of Enslaved. Cool stuff (although the singer is a bit "shouty")!

http://wildernessking.bandcamp.com/
papashawn - 23.01.2012 at 18:14  
Hey guys, Shawn w/ Antithetic Records here. I wanted to leave a couple pertinent links for this album:
You can stream the entire album at our site here:
http://www.antitheticrecords.com/2012/01/wildernessking-first-review-full-stream.html

And if you'd like to order a copy, you can do so here:
http://antitheticrecords.storenvy.com/products/184763-wildernessking-the-writing-of-gods-in-the-sand-cd

Thanks!

Glad everyone is liking the album so far!
R'Vannith - 24.01.2012 at 02:27  
Sounds really interesting, definitely checking this one out. And that's one damn fine album cover.
papashawn - 07.02.2012 at 16:29  
Just a heads up, we're running a fundraiser to press a double LP version of this album. If vinyl is your thing, check it out!! http://www.antitheticrecords.com/p/wildernessking-vinyl.html
Candlemass - 07.10.2012 at 12:38  
Nice black metal, and I'm not a huge fan of the genre.
Oaken - 26.10.2012 at 16:40  
Extremely watered down and unoriginal. It's not too shabby, but the proggy elements aren't very successful.
R'Vannith - 26.10.2012 at 17:04  
I haven't come across anything which I'd say these guys are imitating...
This album has an odd quality for me in that every time I return to it a different track, or a few of them, becomes the standout, very strange.

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