Aephanemer – A Dream of Wilderness (Napalm)

Monday, 22nd November 2021
Rating: 8.5/10

More.  More.  More.  That’s the first thing that comes to mind with Aephanemer’s third effort, A Dream of Wilderness.  With two solid melodeath outings under their belts, and 2019’s Prokopton being later reissued by new label home Napalm Records, the band has managed to bring out a rapid whirlwind of success with their bombastic and visceral sound.  As such, A Dream of Wilderness doesn’t abandon what the band has already built upon, instead continuing to tweak things into a stunning, shining piece of melodic death metal glory.

The staples of the band remain completely intact.  Energetic, melodeath riffing with some absolutely wow-ing melodies that all but whisk you away on a journey.  There’s that folk-influenced glory and triumph to the band’s sound, but they still continue to keep a slightly sea-faring feel to it that makes it all their own.  The second that “Antigone” begins, it’s a quick reminder that the band knows how to write a melody that sticks right in the back of your brain and takes up residence.  Furious blastbeats ensure that Aephanemer has lost none of their edge either, and the merging of such blistering tempos with graceful, elegant melodies is really what the band is all about.  Songs never go past their effectiveness either – shorter, compact tracks with the same epic feel of a 10-minuter are par for the course, and even the lengthiest number, “Roots and Leaves,” is only a tad over 7-minutes and earns its time with some beautiful sprawling melodies and vivid atmosphere.  It’s clear the band’s focus has become more razorsharp and refined as they continue along their path.

Continuing to raise the bar for themselves, Aephanemer know the mechanics of what works in melodic death metal.  A Dream of Wilderness doesn’t alter the course of the genre, but it provides thorough evidence of what it takes to make it seem compelling and wondrous.  A perfect album for those moments where you just want some sort of glorious adventure to sweep you off your feet.

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