Review by Tomek on December 5, 2017.
Music comes to us from all places on this planet. Sometimes it’s a place next door, and sometimes it’s a place that you cannot even point on the map. South Africa is well known in the world for many different reasons, but black metal is not one of them. Not for me at least. Wildernessking is an atmospheric black metal band from that part of the world; they have a couple of EP’s and one other full length under their belt. I do not know much of their history and do not know much about their previous releases, but what I have in my player is their latest release called Mystical Future, and this is what I would like to talk about today.
Listening to the album for the last couple of weeks made me realize how incredibly captivating their art is. On one hand, we have a typical black metal harshness with angry, riff driven attack, intense and unforgiving, exploding right in your face; and on the other, there are these dramatic, serene and harmonious passages that are amazingly captivating in their progressive nature. The one thing that stays unchanged and clamps those two together is the vocals that remain radically black metal and rarely stray away from its torturous form. The whole album continues to grow in front of your eyes and it’s constructed to be in ever-changing form, to keep the listener not only interested - but also on their toes. Moving trough cleverly unpredictable arrangements, Widernessking stages memorable haunting sections intertwined with impressively dense and ripping black metal plunges that keep big hooks in our flesh. The more you listen - the more they dig in. The more they dig in - the more gets uncovered. The more gets uncovered - the more you fall in. It’s like a circle of madness. And then there’s production - which is another element that adds many levels of sophistication to this album. Spaciousness of the album sound makes aggressive viciousness of intense black metal mesh and balance with atmospheric segments and abrasive vocals, creating steadiness and stability throughout whole album. Mystical Future is an album demanding attention and time but once understood it is incredibly satisfying.
Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions is responsible for introducing Wildernessking newest not only to the world, but also to yours truly - and at this moment, I would like to thank those guys for sending the materials my way. It is vastly appreciated and I commend you on a job well done. For those of you that are going to look for physical release - please note that there are two different artworks that you may be looking at depending on whether you’ll be buying CD or vinyl. Black and white shape or outline of a person (CD) or landscape of the mountains (vinyl) would be what you’ll be looking at. In either case, the album will take you on a journey that will be fascinating in its uplifting and yet challenging form. Be ready for it, give it time and simply explore.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10236