|Artwork by Pierre Perichaud|
Wildernessking are a band I was drawn to for their geography as much as their music. Both of my parents are from South Africa, where the most of my extended family still lives. So when I first heard that a post-black metal band from the country of my roots was starting a crowdsourcing effort to put out a debut LP, I had my credit card out before even hearing a single note. Fortunately, the music would have drawn my attention no matter where the band calls home, because within seconds of the opener to The Writing of Gods in the Sand, I knew the band were doing something special. And their quick follow-up EP solidified their place as a hard working, talented band that surprises at every turn.
Now, after almost two years of silence the Cape Town quartet is back with yet another three track offering to keep us satisfied. As much as a full-length would have been appreciated, the sheer dynamism and power of The Devil Within more than make up for its length. It shows us a group that has clearly been working on all aspects of their sound as a newfound sense of maturity and self permeate every second of the eighteen minute effort.
“Luker” and “Flesh” share a similar sense of intensity and urgency, with the latter’s vicious tempo change and unrelenting percussive attack making it one of the band’s most impressive tracks to date. They also introduce you to the new production choice the band favors on the EP. By making the vocals take a slight step back, they help to put the focus more on the swirling hurricanes created by the guitars, adding a demonic yet ethereal sheen over everything. “The Devil Within” is more akin to the atmospheric fare the band has experimented with, and as a ten minute cap to the release it works wonderfully. Exploding at the halfway point before pulling hard on the reins and drawing everything to a melancholic close, it shows the young band’s deliberation and confidence with their music.
Innumerable ideas and and relentless creative energy continue to burst forth from Wildernessking. What they create is just begging to be explored further, and no doubt will as the group continue to hone their skills as an incredibly dynamic unit. We’re witnessing a unique, extreme metal band flourish in a land where few have done before, and it’s an amazing thing to behold.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]