Wayfarer
Children Of The Iron Age
(Prosthetic Records)

Wayfarer took hold of me almost instantly and it immediately came of no surprise that their mixture of darkened black/death metal with progressive atmospheres was going to be nothing short of perfect. Though with the amount of passion and precision that the band offers here, the effort truly speaks for itself. Regardless of the fact that the band wanted to test my patience with some much longer songs (“A Place Among Stars” is a little bit over fifteen minutes) I feel that these lengthier pieces achieve their goal and seem quite natural. It’s fine by me if they chose to dull the blade for a bit to offer up some impressive soundscapes, as these lighter pieces culminate into more devastating hits towards the end, which even put landmark acts like Agalloch to shame. While The Serpent And The Sphere might have been an impressive piece by the standards of most metal aficionados, I definitely think that this material seems more along the vein of that band’s classic era and that’s what I like to hear from the genre. There are a load of bands doing this sound both signed and unsigned, but no one seems to be capturing this sound and styles quite as well as I’ve heard it done here. Children Of The Iron Age might be comparable to Enslaved in some aspects as well, but in only the best I feel; and I fear that Enslaved’s seat on the iron throne of progressive black metal might be nearing its end with all of these fantastic acts coming up from out of the woodwork. Though comparing them to termites is hardly necessary, as these underground titans are more like ravenous wildebeests, ready to pounce on and destroy everything in their path. But they do it with such a mesmerizing approach that truly delivers throughout each and every song. It definitely contains some elements of the new school of metal, yet contains just enough of the old to put a glimmer into the eyes of people who still remember the magic of The Mantle. But while Children Of The Iron Age is no Mantle, it’s certainly one of the best offerings of atmospheric blackened folk metal with death metal elements that I’ve heard in several years. Believe it. Children Of The Iron Age may not have graced many accursed “best of lists” this year, but it definitely should have. Without question, this is a must for any fan of extreme atmospheric folk metal. It’s everything that I want from the genre and then some. Wayfarer took hold of me almost instantly and I hope that it will do the same for you. (Eric May)

Purchase Children Of The Iron Age here.

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