VVilderness
Dark Waters


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (344 Reviews)
January 18th, 2020 | 11 replies


Release Date: 01/10/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: tree bones, deep mists, still water -- songs of the Vvilderness.

Modern day metal enthusiasts have certainly become a jaded bunch over the course of the last few decades. Think about it; our access to music these days is often separated by a matter keystrokes, a click of a mouse or a finger on a screen over populating our [mostly] digital libraries, played once (if at all) before repeating this all too easy cycle again and again. It’s this access that’s both benefitted and plagued the tastes of listeners; excellent releases have become a dime a dozen, poor albums are on almost every Bandcamp page and in that regard truly classic records are considerably rarer. Personally, I’m guilty of over-indulging in my access to new music, adding various records to my “will listen later” playlists only to find myself occasionally fulfilling this greedy lust for new tracks, not unlike a drunkard searching for that last dusty bottle hidden in the back of a cupboard. Despite this self-aware addiction to cramming as much new music as possible, I see no reason to change my behaviour, or indulge in a particular vice unless it’s quality strictly demands repeated listens. Even in this weird, self-serving epiphany of sorts I realise that I wouldn’t have found most of my favourite records without this mindset and certainly not the likes of (Hungarian based) Vvilderness’ Dark Waters.

For those new to Vvilderness brand, Dark Waters is rooted in the realms of black metal with natural landscapes and heritage in tow; similarly to that of Can Bardd, Elderwind, Saor and to a lesser extent, Moonsorrow. The music itself is highly atmospheric, building its soundscapes with its surrounds on full display, lush brush strokes painting with abandon of free will. The titular track that opens Vvilderness’ 2020 record, epitomises the very framework of this genre in recent years; soft acoustic melodies building slowly into light hypnotic melodies, before ejaculating blast beats and other expectable black metal nuance. The album’s lighter moments contrast heavily with the stereotypical black metal wall of noise that erupts, often out of the blue. For all the trappings atmospheric black metal can often give a listener, the band’s near Pagan-leanings (and female vocal led verses) add to the contrast between climax and instrumental cooldown, prompting life into the Dark Waters storyline.

Admittedly, there isn’t a great deal setting this little Hungarian act apart from the likes of those mentioned above, but there is an honesty that helps launch Dark Waters into the year’s earlier black metal highlights. Based on Szekely folk, the likes of “Danu’s Tears” and “It Comes With Rain” revel in these near-Appalachian soundscapes, unhindered by an overly polished production or glorified additions of traditional instrumentation. But it’s “Havasok / Snowy Mountains” that brings the album together. A carrying bag-piped melody sits in the background of haunting tremolo and cutting riffs, held together by ritualistic atmosphere and black metal furor before breaking off into sensual, relaxing climes... before launching once again into a world of rasps, blast beats and other typical black metal mannerisms.

Vvilderness’ latest offering isn’t without its missteps however; namely in its production and pondering repetition offered at every turn. A lot of the album is mixed too high, giving the listener a huge wall of sound that loses some of its body, but it’s the album’s overly ‘too similar’ in design that lacks enough real climaxes to hide the soft and often acoustic fall backs from the harsh icy noise of black metal’s greater tropes. Some little variation on this formula and some compositional focus would see Vvilderness cut from the same cloth as the acts mentioned above. As a whole, Dark Waters is a more than capable release held back by some manner of small issues, but a more than worthy addition to any fan looking to satiate a need for folk-y, melancholic and honest black metal.



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user ratings (34)
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 18th 2020


12853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Released/Streaming here"

https://vvilderness.bandcamp.com/album/dark-waters



Also decided that I prefer Victorian Pino over Spanish Tempranillo. It wasn't an easy decision to make.

GhostB1rd
January 18th 2020


6720 Comments


Great album art.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2020


21218 Comments


Spanish Tempranillo! All the way! (I actually have no idea what I am talking about)

Gotta check this and the Lotus Thief one, good rev Noctbro.

Digging: Hallas - Conundrum

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2020


12853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Spanish Tempranillo! All the way!




Not sure how/what gets imported your way but if you can find some Aussie reds from Mornington Peninsula (Victorian) definitely give 'er a go.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2020


21218 Comments


Will do man, I am not a wine connoisseur, more a man of beer myself but the wife will definitely appreciate it.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 19th 2020


12853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Happy wife...

Dedes
January 21st 2020


7292 Comments


Ngl I forgot this band existed but this is a welcome reminder. Loved Devour the Sun when I heard it an aeon or two ago.

ChrimzonCanine
February 29th 2020


402 Comments


Someone needs to do a review of their first album ASAP

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 1st 2020


12853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

off you go son,.

Pikazilla
March 1st 2020


12024 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Surprised with your high rating. These guys need to figure out what the hell they want to be - sounds like they just did a very sloppy job of putting melodeath and bm sections together. Debut is a tad better imo but not by a wide margin.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 1st 2020


12853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

To be honest I didn't 'click' with it straight away - thinking it was mostly an excuse to sell some black/blue and grey artwork - but this is where my listening is pulled to. Call it preference, soft spot et al but it really grew on me. There's something really simplistic and done well here that pushes it over the line warts and all.



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