Wayfarer - World's Blood
Profound Lore Records
Atmospheric Black Metal
5 songs (44' 41")
Release year: 2018
Profound Lore Records
Reviewed by Andy

We've given positive reviews to dark Americana projects before, so it won't come as a surprise to longtime readers that I'm really enjoying Denver black metal outfit Wayfarer's new Old West-themed album World's Blood. Doomy and brooding, with a twangy guitar, this album instills a lot of its region's sound into the atmosphere produced.

The core of the sound is ringing, usually clean guitar riffs, occasionally drifting into feedback during quieter portions of songs -- I'm reminded of Eight Bells --, but these are alternated with solid, abrasive blasts of noise, which drag the listener through slow doomy passages like a buffalo struggling through snowdrifts in a blizzard. In between the crushing, the band has interludes with a surprisingly light touch, producing delicate but razor-sharp traceries of melody on The Dreaming Plain.

The vocals are harsh to the point of unrecognizability, primeval roars that blend into the heavy portions of the songs; they're only clean on the last song, and there they are mixed low enough to be a murmured chant rather than clear vocals. They are also used so sparingly, not being found on any of the lighter portions of the tracks, that the album's mostly instrumental. This is a good thing; World's Blood has an intricate sound needing careful treatment to keep from getting overwhelmed, and the band is careful to give it that.

And as for the "Western" sound of this album? That's sparingly used too. The guitars' twanging sound is certainly reminiscent of a western movie, and every so often the rhythm stirs up the non-black-metal influences in the album's pedigree; A Nation of Immigrants is the best example of this. But this isn't a mashup of multiple genres. For World's Blood, it's the atmosphere generated, not the sound, that gives it its high-plains vibe.

Bandcamp: https://wayfarercolorado.bandcamp.com/album/worlds-blood-2.

Killing Songs :
The Crows Ahead Cry War, The Dreaming Plain, A Nation of Immigrants
Andy quoted 87 / 100
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