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Wayfarer Unearth the “World’s Blood”

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Black metal has touched nearly every corner of the world, and Colorado outfit Wayfarer’s brand reaches to a version of the American Frontier immortalized on countless films and TV shows. Drawing from the quintessential swagger of Ennio Morricone (ubiquitous in its time and since hammered repeatedly into pop consciousness thanks to Quentin Tarantino and other subsequent luminaries) and melding this influence with the contemplative atmospherics of the Cascadian wilderness, Wayfarer channel the Old West in all its windswept and dust-caked glory.

Travel back to this blood-soaked and bullet-riddled era with our exclusive premiere of Wayfarer’s third full-length album World’s Blood below.

Wayfarer understand the immersive worldbuilding power achievable through patient songwriting across grand timescales. Over the course of three consecutive epics exceeding ten minutes and bookended by five-minute counterparts, the album develops at a consciously deliberate pace. Much of the music wallows in dirgelike tempos, creeping steadily forward as a weary yet committed caravan trundling across barren plains and through narrow mountain passes, with violent cloudbursts of blast beats and concussive tom fills puncturing the stillness.

The Western themes of World’s Blood are implied, rather than overtly stated, through rhythmic, instrumental, and melodic references. The record opens with a creeping snare crescendo suggesting the approaching footfalls of a sprinting horse. As it peaks, Wayfarer erupt into a full-out gallop, the cadence of which subtly sets the tone for the album’s concept. After several minutes of soul-withering black metal, throughout which honest, emotive leads waver mournfully over rampaging drums, the soft snare pattern returns to underpin an ambient interlude. Wayfarer could have bluntly incorporated their chosen motifs as obvious gimmicks, but instead, they’ve breathed these ideas gradually into their cinematic compositions so as to embed them on an intuitive level.

The implacable lead melodies are reminiscent of the meandering progressions spun by experimental black metal masters Krallice, a comparison made all the more readily due to Colin Marston’s role in engineering, mixing, and mastering. Marston’s morose aesthetic — distant vocals, maudlin leads, crisp bass, and thin, punchy drums — is an apt medium for Wayfarer’s lumbering arrangements. He proves an ideal partner for the band, empowering the music by focusing it though a stylistic filter which best enables it to flourish. The interplay between the unflagging dervish guitars and grounding presence of the bass adds intricacy and depth, while drummer Isaac Faulk’s soulful performance reinforces the album’s deeply organic nature.

World’s Blood is fittingly illustrated by its cover art, a vintage 1908 Edward S. Curtis photograph taken in Montana. Any identifying features of the monolithic, backlit subject are lost in shadow, the entire scene blanketed in sepia haze. Calling to mind Frank Frazetta’s iconic work Death Dealer, Curtis’s faceless rider is an ominous harbinger of the dangers that await in the merciless, wild frontier.

World’s Blood releases tomorrow via Profound Lore Records. Pre-order the album now on CD and in multiple vinyl color options as well as on Bandcamp in digital or CD formats. Wayfarer will be supporting the album with a June tour across the western US.

wayfarer tour

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