Wayfarer
A Romance With Violence


4.5
superb

Review

by Zach USER (112 Reviews)
April 15th, 2021 | 12 replies


Release Date: 10/16/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All is calm on the Texan front.

A Romance With Violence is something of a musical anomaly. Not, necessarily, only in it's somewhat strange genre pairings of country music and mid-tempo black metal (something I touched upon in my previous Dark Watcher review), but also in its ability to execute this without it being contrived or surface-level. No, rather there is an incredibly nuanced austerity-less fun, and more melancholic and cinematic in scope. Something about this record feels sagely and old-world, painting images of eternal gray skies dotted by crumbling buttes, seen through the jaded eyes of an elder on his last breath.

Now, to arrive at this state however, we must first start with more humbling beginnings, starting with what may be one of the most strangely jolly mood setters in The Curtain Pulls Back. Piano notes dance around a saloon with theatrical whimsy, rousing dancing and drinking aplenty, a rather joyous beginning compared to what is to come. The Crimson Rider trudges in with brooding, hefty riffs and drum patterns, the likes of which would come to a full blown cathartic romp in The Iron Horse. By the time our finale has arrived in Vaudeville, the formula is brought to its apex, with twangy acoustics and echoing croons taking the stage for the brunt of the 10 ½ minute track before swelling into a maelstrom of grandiose and beauty.

With a record as massive in scope as this, the intricacies are important to avoid homogeneity, and on every instrumental and vocal front this ***ing delivers. To start, the drumming. It never feels intentionally flashy, and yet I find myself astounded at how many satisfying tight fills there are, how many faint cymbal crashes and china taps can be heard subtly trodding away in the background, serving only to accentuate the spaciousness of this record (especially considering the more pummeling and wonderfully natural tone of the oft-used kick pedal). With this special drum shoutout I would like to give an even more particular honorary mention to the clattering of drumsticks that opens up Vaudeville. May it forever remain the spiciest drum intro that metal ever did have.

Of course, this wouldn't be a complete work without the uh, yanno, other instruments, such as the guitar-acoustic, electric, mandolin, air guitar (ok, perhaps the air guitar could use some more practice). The acoustic passages here offer a wonderful, dark, moody country twang that really drives home that "thunderstorm in ye old midwest" feel, present surprisingly well of the intermission, titled, Intermission (respect to bluntness given). In contrast, our electrically charged guitar counterpart serves to add to the epic overtones of this album, present in hardcore blistering fury off of the aforementioned The Iron Horse.

Then we have the vocals, vocals that are beautiful, fierce, and scathing. The harsh vocals hit with cutting rasps and deep, cavernous gutturals, while the cleans are overlaid with a thick layer of warbling reverb. I imagine in these moments our now wrinkly skinned cowboy is pondering by a smoldering fire on his past life-the shootouts, friends he has made and lost, the ultimate dissatisfaction of his outlaw lifestyle. It is the penultimate ending to our beginning of what may have been a more spritely fellow-someone who could drink his days away and swoon ladies for miles and never grow bored. Alas, the pleasantries of life can only last so long, and eventually, every sun sets on the western front.



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user ratings (130)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dedes
April 15th 2021


7659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I spent over 60 minutes on this you guys are legally required to upvote now



Dedes
April 15th 2021


7659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good morning folks

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
April 15th 2021


10944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Super jealous of their album art.

Dedes
April 15th 2021


7659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah they have some wicked art. Dark and subdued. Its beautiful.

Wizard
April 15th 2021


20340 Comments


Have a vote for the review, well done!

Can't say I enjoyed this much but I shall return to this tonight since I'm probably missing something with this band.

botb
April 16th 2021


14480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuckin great record

combustion07
April 16th 2021


8280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Saw these guys live at a basement style show in the downstairs area of a venue in my town back in either 2016 or 2017. Bought the Old Souls album after and loved the set and album but forgot album them. Will definitely jam this and I'm glad this reminder popped up

XXMurdaBeatzXX
April 16th 2021


57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Such a great album, also love the rev. Like you describe, the drummer is on another level without taking attention away from the guitar leads

Digging: Manchester Orchestra - The Million Masks of God

Dedes
April 16th 2021


7659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah it's amazing. So technically proficient yet kinda subdued.

If you like this definitely check Old Blood, similar vibes albeit a little more restrained and less bombastic overall.

combustion07
April 17th 2021


8280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Digging this a ton upon first listen. Honestly these guys, Yellow Eyes, Fin, and Anicon have been my favorite live bands in the black metal area. Anyone digging on Wayfarer should jam some Anicon if they haven't. It's a different flavor but I feel like y'all would dig

Azog
April 20th 2021


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Country music and black metal seems like a horrible combination on paper, but Wayfarer pulls it off.



An engaging and immersive album, living up to the hype.

Digging: Altarage - Succumb

Dedes
April 20th 2021


7659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It most certainly does, but at the root of it country is just American folk music. When you think about that way it sounds like it has more potential than it oft reveals.

Glad you jammed this yo



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