CD Review: Wilderun / Sleep at the Edge of the Earth
Northeastern symphonic folk metallers Wilderun burst onto the scene with the release of their debut Olden Tales and Deathly Trails in 2012 (review here). After plenty of touring, songwriting, and life changes, the band raised funds via Kickstarter to record their next album, Sleep at the Edge of the Earth. (Full disclosure: I was a backer.) So how did it turn out?
Sleep marks a bit of a departure from the folk-oriented metal of their first record; fear not, those elements are still there, but overall Wilderun’s sound is moving further into musical territory staked out by mid-period Opeth. The band embraces a more progressive song structure, as is apparent on the four-part “Ash Memory” suite. Songs move from heavy riffs to careful acoustic passages in a heartbeat, then back again, but it feels neither forced nor overdone. The softer pieces in particular stand out for their high quality, but if you want some raw brutality, “Bite the Wound” and “The Garden of Fire” have you covered. Finally, Sleep‘s opening and closing tracks feature the same melody, albeit played on different instruments. This wraps up the record beautifully.
Sleep is one of those albums that arguably sounds better as one long piece rather than its individual tracks. Furthermore, what really sets Wilderun’s albums apart from many other local and regional works is the excellent production. It’s no small feat especially with records that feature a lot of orchestral elements, but Sleep follows in Olden‘s footsteps in that it’s simply a pleasure to listen to as all the pieces come together.
Sleep at the Edge of the Earth is due out on April 7. Just sit back, have a drink from the Goblet of Time, and enjoy.