Review Summary: The Wandering makes sense. It makes so much sense.
Hailing from Oxnar, CA, Bermuda are a five-piece Deathcore act with some of the heaviest, grooviest sections I’ve ever laid ears upon. It was back in 2011 when the band came out with their debut release, Isolationist(s)
, earning themselves a fair amount of followers. Isolationist(s)
was heavy, groovy, reckless and somewhat unique. With high expectations and ears wide open I embarked on this new journey, hoping for the perfect follow up to what had become one of my favorite releases of 2011.
IS one great follow up to their 2011’s effort. That said, a few aspects can distinguish the two releases. Isolationist(s)
was in some ways more dynamic, fearless if you will. The Wandering
is most surely one step forward in the band’s career, bringing a more mature approach with a reasonable structure from beginning to end, while maintaining their signature sound, with a polished a la Braunstein
presentation. And the mood. Intuitions
opens up The Wandering
with a goal – to set a mood. And of course, to make you s**t your pants. An eerie, dark ambience, holding hands with a breakdown in the background and then the war cry – I SAW THE END, I FELT THE WORLD FALL DOWN ON ME – blast beat section with breakdown-like chugs, those you easily find within Deathcore. This is the opening you will want to listen to over and over, and that’s the sort of experience Bermuda bring to the table with The Wandering
– A mass of Deathcore heaviness; relentless, meaningful and heartfelt.
Intuitions ends with a similar eerie ambience from the one heard in the beginning, opening for a display of great Deathcore, Bermuda style. Decent blast beat sections, breakdowns and those groovy or if you may, djenty
passages. That’s Process of Drowning
, and if you’re a fan of Deathcore, that’s just as good as it gets too. In the next couple of tracks the band’s effort seems of a rather simplistic nature, and while remaining a solid listen, both Invictus, Unconquered
and In Trenches
mostly feel like the least original tracks in the album, clinching to a mix of 2 chord chugs and slightly pretentious ambiences, or guitar effects. One does not play down the heart that the band put on said tracks, and their role on The Wandering
, as they help to solidify the already engulfing mood into a higher standard (only fair to add that). The Wandering
is then brought to a halt, what the five Californian wise Metal men called Lost At Sea
. Beautiful, simple, this is the track that to my belief Bermuda put together to open the second part of this experience, and with such subtlety. Sachael
, (for yours truly) the highest peak achieved on the entire duration of this release. The chords flow with a sense of melody and anguish, the drums are played with mastery and purpose, the lyrics are distinctive, the singed chorus, to die for - The whole band communes to craft an unforgettable song.
By now it’s just not possible to be indifferent to The Wandering
’s powerful storm of raw sentiment. From here on, the album flows in the most virtuous way you could be hoping for at this point. Gladly, there’s still much more than just the prolongation of an already interesting album. By Langrange Point
there was a need for an instrumental track to stabilize the album’s digestion for the thoughtful listener, and so they did craft a very tasteful and structured 4 minute song that would serve as a checkpoint for your musical perceptions. Great guitar work with a dash of melody, one point that Bermuda are clearly comfortable with. And so we’re set aground with another memorable heavy Deathcore section. The homonym track holds my respect for another amazing drum input, while overall is still one of the best moments in the album too (I’m sure any Djent aficionado will agree with me on this one). Not to speak of the contrast the song creates with its’ opening, it breaks the album ever so good. Can’t help to recall back to Isolationist(s)
when I hear it, I’m sure somebody will understand that too. After another bring-it-the-f**k-on
Deathcore decent song, The Wandering
waves goodbye with 9 minutes of Metal done right. Obstruction
finishes the album in the best way possible. The twisted dark mood that ruled over the entire album, the dissonant guitars reverberating as a hypnotizing roar, the whispers, the effective presence of the drums, all this put together so smoothly, so surely… It took every ounce of anger off you until its’ last minute, and now it’s over. The Wandering
ends, and one is left to feel like he/she was the wanderer all along.
Such a good effort. The guitars flow decently overall, the drummer actually seems to have developed some good cymbal hitting skills, the production remains unscathed. The odd time signatures are as odd as ever, the background soloing delayed guitars feel right most of the time, creating that ambiance mixture that’s either average or just plain genius. There are, however, setbacks one can tell apart. It’s not stellar, it’s not a breakthrough album for modern Metal. If you put together a few pieces, you will notice that what Bermuda did here is not that intricate, and that many bands are beginning to nail a somewhat similar sound nowadays (despite adding other variations of Metal to their respective sound). Put against their first release, Bermuda’s breakdowns went from plain good and impetuous to goodish and occasionally interesting, and a lot of that groovy feel got lost in the way too. Overall, the whole songs seem to have lost some oomph, to be honest. But you win something when you lose something, that’s clear in this particular case. It’s mature, it’s genuine, it’s ever so beautiful. It’s solid. Thing is, no band has yet come close to this result. You’ve listened to Math Metal (ok kids settle down, Djent), Deathcore, or simply Death Metal… What about a balanced mix between all of those genres PLUS a ton of passionate veracity, a meaningful message and a deep, dark and touching feel? Don’t try to guess, go listen to it.
It’s never enough to state how solid The Wandering
is. The raw feeling and emotion, such dark and mournful ambience, even the artwork – the perfect fit. Personally, I saw myself there, right on that cover. The Wandering
does that to you: It makes the whole play an experience of your own, if you’re willing to embrace it.