Review 1940 : Wayfarer – American Gothic – English

Wayfarer explores new territories.

Three years after their previous album, the American band featuring Shane McCarthy (guitar, Lykotonon), Isaac Faulk (drums, Blood Incantation, Lykotonon, Stoic Dissention ex-Centimani), Jamie Hansen (bass/vocals, Lykotonon, ex-Centimani) and Joey Truscelli (guitar, ex-Kitezh) unveil American Gothic, their fifth album, on Century Media Records and Profound Lore Records.

The album opens with the melancholy sounds straight from the American desert plains of The Thousand Tombs of Western Promise, before letting Black Metal roots anchor the composition in a darker dynamic. Howls also appear in the midst of the dissonant haunting rhythm, which the band energizes with a massive double kick, creating an intriguing contrast with the heady leads and calmer passages, but perfectly serving the waves of fury also found on the lengthy The Cattle Thief, a composition with a relatively heavy atmosphere where intense vocal parts meet scathing harmonics beneath virulent explosions. The majestic break barely allows us to breathe before the new surge suffocates us in its turn, followed by a slightly more soaring final that easily joins Reaper on the Oilfields and its airy touches complemented by vocals, acting as a restful interlude while remaining in the band’s universe. To Enter My House Justified returns to abrasive tones and saturated vocals before burying us under its darkness which the band will nevertheless shades with keyboards and intoxicating melodies, letting the flood of violence lead us to A High Plains Eulogy, which gradually unveils itself and also hypnotizes us. The riffs and their various effects make the short track extremely fast-paced and haunting, as do the strange sounds of 1934, which barely rouse us from slumber before plunging us back into it thanks to Black Plumes over God’s Country, which takes us on a journey between its dark eruptions and its more soothing parts. The mix wonderfully works, taking the best of each of the opposing universes to fuse them and make them complementary before letting a long solo guide us to the final, then to the vocal sample before False Constellation immediately takes over while adding its typical westerns-intriguing keyboard touches, while the different voices haunt the rhythm, making it as fascinating as ever.

American Gothic isn’t just another Wayfarer sequel. Their previous album already allowed unusual Western touches to live in an Atmospheric Black Metal basis, and the band manages to sublimate them with this opus, allowing them a more prominent place.


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