Words of Farewell (Melodic Death Metal) - 'The Black Wild Yonder' CD Review (AFM Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Words of Farewell (Melodic Death Metal) - 'The Black Wild Yonder' CD Review (AFM Records)

German death metal band Words of Farwell dropped their sophomore disc, The Black Wild Yonder, earlier this year and this disc is one of the more intriguing albums that I’ve listened to in a long time. With some past reviews, I’ve started to feel like I’ve ‘been there / done that’ after listening to too many bands that want to sound just like (i.e.) Black Sabbath, play generic crush-and-grind generic death metal, etc. Words of Farewell play aggressive, yet very melodic, death metal with a very light symphonic touch thrown in the mix.

Words of Farewell formed in the German Ruhr District in early 2007. After releasing some very limited edition early recordings, the band signed AFM Records, who released the band’s debut disc, Immersion, in 2012. Immersion was recorded at Metallurgy Studios to which the band returned to in mid-2013 to record their follow-up, The Black Wild Yonder.

The eleven tracks on this new disc run for 60 minutes and each of these songs combines immediately noticeable clean, melodic guitar lines with atmospheric synths and swirling keyboards that underlay the guitar riffs, sometime rising to the surface to provide a transitional bridge. The underlying musical elements are dissonant and almost prog/classical in nature but The Black Wild Yonder is a long way from being a prog album as each song contains aggressive, buzzsaw guitar riffs and vocalist Alexander Otto adds in hoarse but very understandable growled vocals. Crystal-clear production highlights the combined light and dark elements within the band’s sound.

One of the nice thing about this disc is that all of the songs ‘go somewhere’ – the builds lead to an explosion of sound and the slow passages give the listener a brief respite. While the band doesn’t stray from their core sound of combining melody and atmosphere with dissonance and aggression, each songs has unique flourishes and melodies that allow it to stand on its own. One of the strongest tracks on the disc is “Damaged Beyond Repair”. This song starts out with atmospheric and dark keyboards to which an intricate percussion and bass line is added before the song kicks into high gear. Mid-song, Words of Farewell add to the atmospheric by briefly stopping their sonic attack for whispered vocals over a light piano.

Words of Farewell