When Agalloch disbanded recently, I was very disappointed. They were, for me, America’s Opeth in some ways. They had such talent and depth. Sure they were rooted in black folk metal but they still wrote some of the best riffs and songs this side of the Atlantic. Ah but then I recalled Wayfarer, those crazy mountain men from Colorado. Vocally, they are more about a standard death growl versus the piercing black vocals of John Haughm, leader of Agalloch.
With their second album “Old Souls,” Wayfarer have solidified their position within the atmospheric black metal community but also raised their game even higher. The songs on “Old Souls” range from their biggest sounding epics like “Old Souls’ New Dawn” which is so punishing to the shorter and dare I say HOOKY “Catcher.” Make no mistake, radio still will be too afraid of Wayfarer to play anything on “Old Souls,” but it’s a shame because the songs are so fucking good.
“Ever Climbing” is a killer 10 plus minute opener where the band mix their epic metal style with their acoustic folk leanings. “Deathless Toundra” is another favorite of mine as it starts out feeling like it’s going to be a sweeping instrumental before the vocals cut your fucking head off. Wayfarer know how to build the drama within a song before delivering knock out blow after knock out blow. The most frenetic track is the closing track “All Lost in Aimless Chaos” which confirmed they still have black metal roots.
Wayfarer are ready to step forward as the next great American extreme metal band. Their debut album “Children of an Iron Age” was a very impressive start. But with “Old Souls,” Wayfarer show have the talent and the songs to claim Agalloch’s abdicated throne.
1. Ever Climbing
3. Old Souls’ New Dawn
5. Deathless Tundra
6. The Dust Lakes
7. All Lost In Aimless Chaos
Label: Prosthetic Records