If you read my last review of Wildernessking, you already know I like these guys a lot. They really surprised me with their album Mystical Futures, and now we have this, a reissue of their first 2 EP’s with some new tracks added in for good measure.
It’s not always easy to go back to a band’s beginnings, since they might have hugely improved since then, or radically changed their sound. Luckily, this is not the case for Wildernessking. On these tracks, their mix of Post-rock/metal and Black Metal is clearly taking shape. It all sounds a little rougher round the edges then their recent work, but that doesn’t change anything about the excellent songwriting displayed here. They just have a knack for writing epic songs.
The first tracks are …And The Nigh Swept Us Away. After an instrumental intro, the black metal onslaught starts. But while being raw, their tendency for keeping a lot of melody in the mix is prominently displayed here. The last song is an acoustic song, and, like Amenra has shown on their last album, it doesn’t lose any of it’s power, instead focusing on atmosphere. It’s beautiful, and shows once again that they are great musicians through and through.
After all that mayhem, it’s time for the The Devil Within tracks. I think these show where they found their footing best. Post-rock, Black metal and a little shoegaze interwine, meet and clash, without sounding forced, and form epic songs. 10 minute epic The Devil Within is the pinnacle of their forces here, sounding like a lovechild of Deafheaven and Mono. Glorious stuff.
The last 2 songs are new ones. A live rendition of And The Night Swept Us Away, which sounds exactly as you’d think : Tight and passionate. And lastly we have Decay, a newly recorded song for this compilation. This one’s all about build-up, and it’s a great end to this album.
My favourite song is The Devil Within. For reasons, see above. It’s how I like my Black Metal, epic, ferocious, great riffs, great build-up, the whole package.
All in all this is a great package if you want to get yourself acquainted with these guys. The artwork is beautiful ( had to include both sides above, cause damn if that doesn’t look fantastic). I can’t wait to see what the future brings for these guys!