Wayfarer
American Gothic


4.3
superb

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
October 28th, 2023 | 64 replies


Release Date: 10/27/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A blaze in the western sky

Giving an album the title American Gothic sets expectations high - it’s the type of phrase which inherently suggests an epic release the listener won’t soon forget. Fortunately, Colorado’s Wayfarer have delivered, providing us with one of this year’s finest records.

You’ll hear this album described in a number of ways, some more succinct than others, but the essential point is that American Gothic represents a fusion of extreme metal with country/Americana elements (try that in a small town). I have a bit of experience with this emerging micro-genre, and my general response has been “well, that was a bit better than anticipated” - in short, the whole premise is a weird idea which can often lead to positive results, but I’ve yet to be blown away. Turns out, there’s a first time for everything.

The impressiveness of American Gothic can be boiled down to three key points. First, Wayfarer have tastefully blended a triumvirate of styles into a single compelling package - the genres in question being (mostly mid-tempo) black metal, ominous post-metal, and dusty country/western (indeed, both kinds of music). Second, the structure and pacing of this album is immaculate - longer, heavier tracks at the beginning and end, a middle stretch encompassing the absolute riff-fest which is “To Enter My House Justified” alongside atmospheric shorter cuts like “A High Plains Eulogy” and “1934”, and a runtime of around forty-four minutes across eight tracks, which proves perfect for the material. Third, this album doesn’t feel like a novelty at all - yes, this might be “cowboy metal” or whatever you’d like to call it, but the mood and vibes are utterly convincing, with the results seeming more like a captivatingly gnarled and grim narration than a "what if we..." musical experiment.

While every single tune on American Gothic has something of notable merit about it, my personal top three picks would be “To Enter My House Justified”, “A High Plains Eulogy”, and “Black Plumes Over God’s Country”. The first of these is a balls-to-the-wall metal slapper, the second a genuinely gorgeous and melancholic respite from the album’s heavier tendencies, and the third a perfect representation of the album’s distinctive vision. The bottom line is that there’s something for nearly all inquisitive music fans in this supremely well-crafted and intriguing record. Anyway, that’s enough readin’, partner, I hear there’s gold in them hills.



Recent reviews by this author
Janelane Love LettersMark Knopfler One Deep River
Hamferd Men Gu​ð​s Hond Er SterkHawkwind Stories from Time and Space
Ride InterplayFrancis of Delirium Lighthouse
user ratings (134)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2023


5833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

A genuine AOTY contender, wasn't expecting this one to hit so well.



m/

Eclecticism
October 28th 2023


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great write-up, loving this more on repeat listens too. Agreed that this doesn't come off as a novelty - I've recommended this group to friends who give me an initial, pre-listen "lol" who then follow-up with a "holy shit, that was amazing."

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2023


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I smell potential dadcore

NightOnDrunkMountain
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2023


622 Comments


Really liked this, just one listen so far

Beardog
October 28th 2023


5171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh new record nice

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2023


60230 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is some silly shit

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
October 28th 2023


11561 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Wonder why they decided on the trio of singles they did, To Enter My House Justified is a highlight but the other two are my least favorite tracks. The Cattle Thief is the best cut here.

Hawks
October 28th 2023


86765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing review and album. M///



Their best so far. Past 2 albums are night and day between the snoozefests that came before them.

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2023


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Whut in the Sam Hill walking dead montage shit is this

naughtcturnal
October 28th 2023


2681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

pleasantly surprised at how really fucking good this is. nice review 👍

Pikazilla
October 28th 2023


29724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

stepdown from the previous one for sure

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2023


4708 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Podunk Primordial

Dizchu
October 28th 2023


543 Comments


Listening, it's pretty interesting and has some cool ideas but I can't help but feel that a more lo-fi production would gel everything together better and enhance the old western aesthetic. That's mostly a personal taste thing though, I know it'd probably limit their appeal.

MarsKid
Emeritus
October 28th 2023


21030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If anything I feel like this isn't nearly as silly as it wants to be/ideally should be. Appreciate the concept but feel the execution of it is usually lacking from these cats, that Western theme is a very light flavoring at best.



I say go full cheese tbh, go for broke.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2023


60230 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^100% agreed. Fwiw half of what I'd consider 'silly' here is that they take such a ham sandwich of a style fusion and then play it at peak self-seriousness. Own that shit, dorks!

Pikazilla
October 28th 2023


29724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah some of the silly shit on here def drags it down

dachstheangry
October 28th 2023


233 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Stepup from the last album imo

Essence
October 29th 2023


6692 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

must be the odd man out, thought this was a huge step down from A Romance With Violence

GhostShelter
October 29th 2023


885 Comments


This is sounding awesome. Not familiar with these guys.

SharkTooth
October 29th 2023


14921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not familiar with these guys, and I don't really listen to black metal, but the name "American Gothic" conjures up imagery and I wanted to see if the album lived up to it.





I now love this album, thank you Sputnik for introducing me to this.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy