Rating:
8.3
Words Of Farewell - The Black Wild Yonder
28 February 2014


01. Continuum Shift
02. Telltale Notion
03. In Kingdoms Of Rain
04. Damaged Beyond Repair
05. Beauty In Passing
06. The Outer Rim
07. Temporary Loss Of Reason
08. Antibiosis
09. Luminary Ghost
10. Riven
11. Overture [iTunes bonus]


With Words Of Farewell we can say goodbye to limp and lifeless melodic death metal as The Black Wild Yonder is an incredibly robust record.

This is the follow up to their impressive 2012 début Immersion, which demonstrated the integral strengths that you would expect of more seasoned acts within the genre. With such potential in tow, they've managed to deliver a clear refinement in this sophomore effort with its staggering strength of composition. Though the début was effectively tied together, these Germans have moved forward with their album construction, with this new record showing finer placement and tapping of the band's strengths. It's possible for the listener to hear the more orderly and structured approach to song writing, which in and of itself is melodically resounding with a whole lot of punch and aggressivity. The atmospheric components, whether of the graceful piano or synth layering variety, are smartly placed not only as transitional segments between each of the album's parts, but within the context of each track they are buried supportively beneath the forceful melodic assault of the guitars so as to give the riffs their sheen. Production polishing enhances this to powerful results and is surely one of this album's greatest assets.

The use of fading is nicely done, such as in the intro of "Beauty In Passing," which maximises the punch as the guitars ascend explosively to the fore. This effect goes a long way toward breaking any monotony as well as providing a more effectively streamlined listen, more than I could say was the case with their début, which may have been more of a diverse listen, but not as neatly, clearly and cogently expressed as what we have here.

Unity is key. While each track bears a close resemblance to the next they can be heard as variations on the same experience or original pieces on the same tightly composed core sound; a sound which possesses melodic strength, atmospheric engagement and a high level of consistency, all three of these being essentials to any great melodic death metal record. The guitar work is creatively impressive and bolstered with precisional drumming, the growls are loaded with menace and lyrical meaning, and the rhythm section as a whole moves on with such tangible direction and force that any concerns over song distinction seem like wasted thoughts. Dynamism is best represented not in terms of a widely ranging sound, but in the clear vitality of the very ordered, very well presented and purposeful musicianship. This record has clearly been very carefully written with attention given to and control over keyboard use and atmospheric effects, which are precisely placed so as to aid ease of flow and distinguish each of the tracks, rather than act as an encumbrance.

The style also moves beyond the shadows of Omnium Gatherum and Dark Tranquillity for something more individually vigorous. Although The Black Wild Yonder doesn't distance the band from their contemporaries to any notable extent, neither is it directly comparable. In other words moves are made stylistically speaking to create something more of their own, with a stamp of their design to it. And man do they "stamp" it; that would be putting it in the mildest of terms.

Words Of Farewell have a clear notion of where they're taking their sound, not vying for something overly showy, colourful or flamboyant but something driven by an obvious inner strength and sense of purpose. The Black Wild Yonder is structurally sound melodic death metal.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Words Of Farewell
Album: The Black Wild Yonder


 



Written on 27.03.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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Rulatore - 28.03.2014 at 01:08  
I just heard Telltale Notion, fuck those keyboards, holy fuck, that sounded annoying. Are the other songs like this one ? DO they have keyboards ?
deadone - 28.03.2014 at 02:33  
Quote:
Unity is key. While each track bears a close resemblance to the next they can be heard as variations on the same experience or original pieces on the same tightly composed core sound; a sound which possesses melodic strength, atmospheric engagement and a high level of consistency, all three of these being essentials to any great melodic death metal record.


I find this instantly off putting.

IMO the great Melodic DM albums (or great anything albums) have songs that stand out from each other but are unified by common overall sound.



I have listened to some tracks and it does sound ok, if not exactly original.

I agree the keyboards can fuck off - I'm sick to death of keyboards in melodic DM or just about anything coming out of Europe these days. The keys here are irritating - e.g. in Riven.
Ace Frawley - 28.03.2014 at 03:41  
Written by deadone on 28.03.2014 at 02:33

I agree the keyboards can fuck off - I'm sick to death of keyboards in melodic DM or just about anything coming out of Europe these days. The keys here are irritating - e.g. in Riven.


I'm glad there are others that feel this way. Keyboards can take a running jump as far as I'm concerned. Although Herbrand Larsen can stay around as he sounds pretty good in Enslaved, and adds wonderful clean vocals.
BlackEssence - 28.03.2014 at 09:40  
Looks like Insomnium has a new opponent.
R'Vannith - 28.03.2014 at 09:42  
Written by Rulatore on 28.03.2014 at 01:08

I just heard Telltale Notion, fuck those keyboards, holy fuck, that sounded annoying. Are the other songs like this one ? DO they have keyboards ?


If that one doesn't float your boat I'm afraid it's sink or swim for you.
R'Vannith - 28.03.2014 at 09:46  
Written by deadone on 28.03.2014 at 02:33

IMO the great Melodic DM albums (or great anything albums) have songs that stand out from each other but are unified by common overall sound.


I very much agree, and it's a difficult thing for any melodic death metal band to establish both of those qualities on an album. This particular album seems stronger in the latter respect to me, not as much as having clearly distinctive tracks. Having said that though this really isn't a monotonously "samey" listen.
R'Vannith - 28.03.2014 at 09:53  
Written by Ace Frawley on 28.03.2014 at 03:41

Written by deadone on 28.03.2014 at 02:33

I agree the keyboards can fuck off - I'm sick to death of keyboards in melodic DM or just about anything coming out of Europe these days. The keys here are irritating - e.g. in Riven.


I'm glad there are others that feel this way. Keyboards can take a running jump as far as I'm concerned. Although Herbrand Larsen can stay around as he sounds pretty good in Enslaved, and adds wonderful clean vocals.


Seems I'm outnumbered here as far as the keyboards go. Personally I find them to be very well used on this album. I guess whether you appreciate the keyboard use is dependant upon genre context and keyboards in melodeath are often criticised, I can understand the reason why as they are generally used pretty frequently or they can be overused (or emphasised too much in the sound). Though with this album I have to say I like how they are placed, and I wouldn't say they are detrimental to the listen at all really.
R'Vannith - 28.03.2014 at 09:54  
Written by BlackEssence on 28.03.2014 at 09:40

Looks like Insomnium has a new opponent.


In terms of atmospherics I think this can sound like them at points. But yes, they might have to watch their backs!
BlackEssence - 28.03.2014 at 10:07  
Written by R'Vannith on 28.03.2014 at 09:54

Written by BlackEssence on 28.03.2014 at 09:40

Looks like Insomnium has a new opponent.


In terms of atmospherics I think this can sound like them at points. But yes, they might have to watch their backs!


Yup. Atmospherics was the first thing that come to my mind.
PocketMetal - 28.03.2014 at 11:16  
Really enjoyed this , much better than the millions of boring MDM bands out there.
Ace Frawley - 28.03.2014 at 11:32  
Written by R'Vannith on 28.03.2014 at 09:53

Seems I'm outnumbered here as far as the keyboards go. Personally I find them to be very well used on this album. I guess whether you appreciate the keyboard use is dependant upon genre context and keyboards in melodeath are often criticised, I can understand the reason why as they are generally used pretty frequently or they can be overused (or emphasised too much in the sound). Though with this album I have to say I like how they are placed, and I wouldn't say they are detrimental to the listen at all really.


Sorry, I was talking about keyboard use in general, rather than specific to this album. To be honest, I haven't heard this album but just noticed the keyboard comment and jumped on board. My general view is that I don't mind subtle use of keyboards, that add a bit of atmosphere and don't crowd out the guitars. Worst example for me is the way the keyboards compete with the guitar as a lead instrument in Children of Bodom, to the point of even having lead breaks or solos. Each to their own though.
bladefall - 28.03.2014 at 14:20  
This album is good,but not as good as Immersion.Some songs like "In Kingdoms Of Rain" have great ambient and others sound like djent/progress metalcore.
That's OK,but the biggest problem is too many keyboard!There's hardly any decent guitar riff.
Listen the Insomnium's new song "Revelation",you'll understand the difference.That's why Insomnium is great and Words Of Farewell is just good.
R'Vannith - 29.03.2014 at 02:56  
Written by Ace Frawley on 28.03.2014 at 11:32

Sorry, I was talking about keyboard use in general, rather than specific to this album. To be honest, I haven't heard this album but just noticed the keyboard comment and jumped on board. My general view is that I don't mind subtle use of keyboards, that add a bit of atmosphere and don't crowd out the guitars. Worst example for me is the way the keyboards compete with the guitar as a lead instrument in Children of Bodom, to the point of even having lead breaks or solos. Each to their own though.


Ah, my mistake, I misread you there. I understand what you mean, you don't like keyboards when they are used as an instrument which drives the music. You prefer them as a backing component not up there at the front of things, if I understand you correctly.
R'Vannith - 29.03.2014 at 02:59  
Written by bladefall on 28.03.2014 at 14:20

others sound like djent/progress metalcore.


This is a good observation I think, I certainly got a sense of that while listening, although I wouldn't refer to it as djent. But yes, there seems to be a slight shift in the guitars and the vocals in terms of style, when compared with the debut. Which I thought was a more varied album, but not as solidly put together as this one.
MHOE - 22.04.2014 at 15:59  
The first album was much better than this one... There is hardly any real melody or quality riff/solo on The Black Wild Yonder, all the songs sound more or less the same. I dig the production and sound of this album but the music itself is significantly lacking anything truly INTERESTING. Listen to the first one to understand what I am talking about.

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