Wayfarer - World's Blood review




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Reviewer:
8.3

28 users:
7.57
Band: Wayfarer
Album: World's Blood
Release date: May 2018


01. Animal Crowns
02. On Horseback They Carried Thunder
03. The Crows Ahead Cry War
04. The Dreaming Plain
05. A Nation Of Immigrants


It is nothing new for black metal bands to take enormous inspiration from nature and the landscape that they live in, whether the frostbitten Norway, the Cascadian Northwest, or urban anguish. Wayfarer come from Colorado.

Already on their third album, Wayfarer have conjured a sound of folk-influenced atmospheric black metal, which is something a lot of bands have done, but Wayfarer managed to give it enough original personality and show enough craftsmanship in their songwriting that listening to Old Souls doesn't feel as outdated as the genre seems to have become. While arguably atmospheric black metal hasn't yet reached blackgaze or djent levels of saturation, said saturation is still an issue and thankfully Wayfarer do stand out from the crowd.

So how does World's Blood paint its pictures of the frontier? Mostly by giving the atmospheric and the acoustic passages as much weight as the black metal ones, if not more. Obviously much of the Americana feel lies more within the former than the latter. Mostly during the three longer songs sandwiched in the middle, the band does switch between the two sounds regularly, and while each passage sounds great, the light/heavy/light/heavy structures do get a bit formulaic. The vibe of some of the atmospheric passages as well as certain more doomy riffs do get close to a desert rock sound, which makes the ambiance much more ardent and soaked in burning sun, but in a less fun and enthusiastic way than, say, Untamed Land.

The vocals are not at all bad, but feel a bit pale compared to the how meticulous the other instruments work to create the sound. This is coupled with much better production than their predecessors (likely a perk of being signed to Profound Lore), making the drums sound way more organic, which is a big step up considering how much this album makes use of percussion, giving the bass more emphasis than most atmospheric black metal in recent memory, and making the sound feel overall more dynamic. The blast beats are great during the harsher parts, but the percussion really shines on the more Americana parts as well, supplementing the twang of the guitars with a dynamic range of ways to make me feel like my shoulders are sunburned even though there's been nothing but rain these past days.

While I do admit that I enjoyed the black metal parts a lot and Wayfarer have songwriting chops, it was mostly the twangier parts in the cleaner segments that sold me this album. I do wish Wayfarer would work both to make their structures more varied than the ones in the longer songs and to blend the two sounds together a bit more than they do. Some female backing vocals during "A Nation Of Immigrants" does push the Americana feel through the roof and it's surprising that they didn't make more use of that. Maybe they'll take a hint from Panopticon and start putting out more acoustic folk-only tracks.

World's Blood is an album that sounds great and is quite successful in being emotionally and aurally engaging enough to evoke a certain landscape. While the great parts are great, it still suffers from limitations of the genre and the longer songs showcase this most. Thankfully, World's Blood is short enough not to make these shortcomings become pitfalls. For what it's worth, still a dark but romantic image of the frontier.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 9
Production: 8


 



Written on 10.07.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 82 users
10.07.2018 - 10:40
musclassia
I was surprised just how much I liked this album; I've heard their first two albums and thought they were good but this one really hooked me in, particularly the last two songs. Definitely made me think of Panopticon, but I found the Americana elements a bit more prominent in the black metal songs on this one than on the Panopticon albums I've heard, although I'm still not that familiar with those records. I wouldn't be too surprised if this is my black metal AOTY
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11.07.2018 - 19:54
Bad English
Masterchief
Bm bands what sings and are inspired from nature, stands higher and are esential , as st. Ann
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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12.07.2018 - 00:42
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
I would like to believe western atmospheric black metal would become a thing at this point.
But it's probably far from reality yet
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2016
2017
2018
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12.07.2018 - 01:07
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Karlabos on 12.07.2018 at 00:42

I would like to believe western atmospheric black metal would become a thing at this point.
But it's probably far from reality yet

Do you really want it to become generic?
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Professor Isak Borg: And the punishment?
The Examiner: I don't know. The usual, I suppose.
Professor Isak Borg: The usual?
The Examiner: Loneliness.
Professor Isak Borg: Loneliness?
The Examiner: Precisely.
Professor Isak: Is there no mercy?
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12.07.2018 - 01:13
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Written by RaduP on 12.07.2018 at 01:07

Written by Karlabos on 12.07.2018 at 00:42

I would like to believe western atmospheric black metal would become a thing at this point.
But it's probably far from reality yet

Do you really want it to become generic?

Not generic. But I'd appreciate some more albums to choose from
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2016
2017
2018
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16.07.2018 - 14:29
nikarg
Old Nick
This is very good stuff. Thanks for bringing it to my attention
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on and on south of heaven

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