Record Reviews

Album review: Wayfarer “Old Souls”

Wayfarer takes a different and quite varied approach to dark, blackened metal on its new album.

Wayfarer from Denver, Colorado plays dark, blackened metal. However, at most times, this is quite different from the old-school black metal from Europe we are used to. This is much more varied music with some blackened touches. Maybe this is what happens when American guys get bitten by the black metal bug. Who knows? Who cares? This is good, dark music. It works. They got my attention. I’m digging it. “Old Souls” is a great soundtrack for the Roppongi Rocks office.

While this album is quite dark in nature and with plenty of blackened influences, it still is melodic. At times it is brutal and at other times it is just beautifully dark. There isn’t much sun shining in the part of Colorado where this music has been created. The Rocky Mountains clearly have some deep and dark caves in them from where inspiration trickles down to the Denver area.

The album is delivered at many different paces, with both faster and slower, doomier parts (such as on parts of “Old Souls’ New Dawn” and “Deathless Tundra”). Fast or slow, Wayfarer delivers. The changes in tempo and styles make this album a great and quite varied journey. The album features many instrumental parts which add to the diversity. Some of those instrumental sections are acoustic which helps in hammering home the point that the band has no real limits in creating their atmospheric music. The variations within and between the songs mean the band avoids some of the monotonous traps that certain extreme metal bands fall into. Among the faster music on this album, “All Lost in Aimless Chaos”, is the best. But even on this song we get a slower part. It seems as if Wayfarer likes its songs to never stand still or get stuck in their way. The band plays music as if they don’t feel constrained by certain expectations of how extreme metal is supposed to sound. Great – I like it. Screw the rules.

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The band formed in 2012 and this is their second album which follows their debut album “Children of an Iron Age” from 2014. They are now gigging in North America in support of the new album. If they don’t get lost in a desert during their current tour of the American countryside, these rockers will go on creating great dark music. Let’s hope they do as this music deserves to be heard.

“Old Souls” was recorded at Flatline Audio with Shane Howard (Martriden, Khemmis) and it was mixed and mastered by Dave Otero (Cattle Decapitation, Cobalt).

Wayfarer’s “Old Souls” is out now on Prosthetic Records.

Wayfarer – band members

Shane McCarthy – guitar, vocals

Tanner Rezabek – guitar, vocals

Isaac Faulk – drums

James Hansen – bass, vocals