Wayfarer – Children of the Iron Age (Prosthetic)

Sunday, 30th November 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

At this point, everyone and their brother is trying to get a piece of the Agalloch action. Even more US bands are veering towards the Cascadian black metal sound. So what’s a young American band to do in order to avoid the genre tropes and pull off a debut album that is dictated as worthy of merit, rather than yet another band following in the footsteps of the woodsy black metal movement? Well, they probably should check in with Wayfarer, who have crafted quite a notable debut that fills a particular niche without sounding like a follower.

What keeps Wayfarer out of the crosshairs of “been there, done that” USBM is their embrace of non-black metal influences and seamlessly inserting them into their music. Sure, there is some embrace of the Cascadian BM sound as well as that Agalloch-esque darkness but there’s some definite death metal impact (along with some Primordial influence) as you work your way through these quite lengthy tracks that keeps you from nodding off to sleep like some of their quieter peers have a tendency to do. The contrast of the softer, melodic moments with a larger, almost-death metal sized bite helps to keep the listener on their toes and it never seems like you will be able to figure out what the next step in the song’s sequence will be. The vocals also push in a heavier direction that many of Wayfarer’s peers, and the use of multiple vocalists is yet another key function in keeping those tracks above water with extended length.

With a total running time of 70 minutes, there’s a lot to take in with Children of the Iron Age. Thankfully, Wayfarer have learned early on what it takes to keep things interesting and dynamic. Children of the Iron Age is a impressive debut and sets the stage for Wayfarer to possibly be one of the genre leaders in the future.

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