Black metal influenced by the American Wild West? I must admit, this is a first for me. Denver Colorado’s Wayfarer drop A Romance With Violence October 16 via Profound Lore Records.

A Romance With Violence features seven harrowing and triumphant anthems of the high plains and paints a poignant exploration of heroes and killers, the setting sun of a restless era, and the shadow it cast on the world we live in today.

Regarding the track “The Iron Horse (Gallows Frontier, Act II),” guitarist and vocalist Shane McCarthy comments, “This one is one of the most to-the-point, ripper tracks. While there are several textures explored throughout the record, this one is kind of dead-set. Against the ruthless silver-screen landscape the album projects, this one is total death rides west’—it’s the pale horse clad in the iron of man’s invention, on the trail of expansionism.”

I think it’s a big disservice to label A Romance With Violence as JUST black metal. Certainly, this sound and style is part of Wayfarer’s DNA, but there’s a lot of musical diversity showcased throughout this disc that allows them to push forth the concept of outlaws and gunslingers against the romantic backdrop of the silver screened wild west.

Track two, “The Crimson Rider (Gallows Frontier, Act I)” infuses doom, ala My Dying Bride with a traditional black metal sound that, when combined, transforms into something akin to a bastard version of heavy prog. Track 4, “Fire and Gold,” has a dreamlike quality lyrically, musically, and especially in the vocals.

wayfarer band photo

A Romance With Violence is thought-provoking and refreshing in a genre of metal that often relies on formulaic music as an excuse to keep black metal pure. Every song on this album is crafted in such a way to tell the story behind A Romance With Violence; the diversity in sound, the intensity and aggression of the music, all of it is tempered to fit each individual track.

There’s also cohesion, an organic ebb and flow that keeps the listener connected and waiting to hear what Wayfarer will unleash next. The story, the imagery, and the music meld perfectly. And the brutality quotient is right where it needs to be as well.

If this is what Wild West Black Metal (WWBM) sounds like, sign me up, I’m a fan. I urge you to pre-order now, or buy A Romance With Violence when it’s released. I leave you with these final two words regarding this record: Face. Melter.

Pre-order A Romance With Violence here.


Theron Moore has been freelance writing since 1989 as a staff writer for SLAM Magazine (Stateline Area Magazine, Northern IL / Southern WI), and contributor to Jake Wiseley’s (Red Decibel Records) Sheet Metal Magazine. He’s also published zines Louder Than God, The Saint Vitus Press & Poetry Review, For Those About to Rock, and blogs Church of the Necronomicon and All My Friends Are Rock Stars (AMFARS). Moore has contributed music, & movie reviews, and artist interviews to websites, Wormwood Chronicles, The Sludgelord, New Noise Magazine and Metal Forces Magazine. He is the author of All My Friends Are Rock Stars, Volumes I-III; Gangsters, Harlots and Thieves; Belvidere, Books & Guns; Blood on the Screen, Blood on the Page; all titles available on Amazon.

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