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Wilderun - Veil of Imagination

Veil of Imagination
by Martin Knap at 21 October 2019, 7:45 PM

Among up-and-coming Progressive Metal bands WILDERUN is one that is especially dear to my heart. It’s not just that I like their sound – the Symphonic and Folk elements give their music a dreamy, fairytale-esque vibe –, their songwriting skills are exactly what one wishes for in Progressive Metal. The songs are dynamic and complex, and at the same time emotionally impactful. Their 2015 release “Sleep at the Edge of the Earth” really got them noticed by some influential blogs (I don’t know how much press coverage they’ve got from the “mainstream” press, but they were definitely getting noticed, at least among people with “better” musical taste), it was a really well written, mature musical project that I was very much into and I’ve waited for a follow-up to it ever since. Well, four years after the release of their sophomore album we have a new record with a similarly poetic title “Veil of Imagination”, and boy, am I not disappointed.

WILDERUN’s latest effort pick ups where “Sleep at the Edge of the Earth” left off, musically the band’s course is basically set, but what a glorious journey it is. The band’s sound could be compared to OPETH, BARREN EARTH, or WITHERSCAPE, they can get pretty dark and heavy, but the symphonic element is also a big part of it. In their orchestral grandeur they come close to latter day NIGHTWISH, when Thomas Holopainen got increasingly more interested in film music.  The word “cinematic” comes to mind in both cases. The album as a whole and some of the songs are quite “epic” in scale, but there are shorter and medium-length songs too. The songs often move between heightened drama and solemn majesty. “The Unimaginabel Zero Summer” moves between heavy phrases with a fast drum beat and growled vocals and phrases with soaring, but a bit somber vocal and guitar melodies which have a strong OPETH vibe. The drama goes into high gear when vocal chants join in, and things get very intimate in a delightful atmospheric break.

“O Resolution!” is a shorter song with an uplifting vibe; the beginning is written in part s a call-and-response between lead vocals and chants, later on the song moves back and forth between forceful growls and beautiful cleans, with some nice interplay going on as well. “Sleeping Ambassador of the Sun” is has a more somber tone, the beginning of the song is angry and heavy but the aggression ebbs out and the song gradually becomes more tender. “Far from Where Dreams Unfurl” has been chosen as the first single for a food reason, it has breezy, uplifting melodies and a memorable, joyous chorus. The song is preceded and followed by two shorter instrumentals (for the most part), which are great musical pieces on their own. Like in all songs the orchestral parts are not there just to add a sonic texture, but are integral to the music. The title song shifts between a heavy groove and a soaring, melancholic melody, the vibe of this song is pretty dark, but there are more relaxed moments too. The closing song is majestic, in the middle there is a gradual buildup with a simple chord guitar progression and orchestra that is absolutely breathtaking; the orchestral parts are delightful.

This is the kind of album that will resonate with you long after its last tone has gone silent. WILDERUN show how songs that are truly progressive and full of emotion at the same time are supposed to be written. The music is composed, performed and arranged with great skill and taste; mixed by the one and only Dan Swano himself it sounds spectacular.  This album is glorious.

Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 10


5 Star Rating

1. The Unimaginable Zero Summer
2. O Resolution!
3. Sleeping Ambassadors of the Sun
4. Scentless Core (Budding)
5. Far from Where Dreams Unfurl
6. Scentless Core (Fading)
7. The Tyranny of Imagination
8. When the Fire and the Rose Were One
Evan Anderson - Berry Vocals, Guitars (rhythm), Piano
Daniel Müller - Bass, Keyboards, Orchestrations
Jonathan Teachey - Drums
Wayne Ingram – Orchestrations
Joe Gettler - Guitars (lead)
Record Label: Independent


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