Wilds Forlorn - _We, the Damned_
(Obscure Abhorrence Productions, 2012)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (9 out of 10)
The one man black metal outfit is an institution. From the primordial days of Bathory to the cold Norwegian forests of Burzum and even continuing to the American frontier with Judas Iscariot, individuals have found their voice through shrieks and blast beats. Perhaps this is why the one man outfit is so appealing, as it allows a sense of individualism and catharsis to seep through the fibers of music. This is why I admire the process and ultimately am impressed when things work so well.

Following no recorded demos, splits or EPs, _We, the Damned_ by the Netherlands based Wilds Forlorn appeared out of the musical ether. Aside from a free BandCamp download, _We, the Damned_ has been spotted on file sharing networks much to the indifference and support of Yuri Theuns, the musical creator. _We, the Damned_ is seeing a physical release from Obscure Abhorrence Productions. As it stands now, the first Wilds Forlorn record comes at no cost, but is equal to multiple black metal albums.

_We, the Damned_ stands on the intersection of two distinct worlds. Wilds Forlorn is unmistakable in its style of atmospheric black metal. Following in the tradition of Wolves in the Throne Room and Agalloch, _We, the Dammed_ toggles between elongated tracks and atmospheric interludes. The addition of programmed strings and vocal variation ultimately allows this record to become an unavoidable entity. The music behind _We, the Damned_ is powerful and executed with such focused precision; it illuminates the two most striking features, which are the lyrics and emotion.

While the style of atmospheric black metal is somewhat recent, _We, the Damned_'s lyrical content embraces the themes of early '90s black metal -- specifically the Norwegian variety. Instead of using black metal to explore transcendence and the metaphysical, Wilds Forlon uses music an emotional compass to navigate through the tumultuous journey of existence. Hatred, despondency and despair are all hallmarks of the world created by Yuri Theuns. _We, the Damned_ is an expression as much as it is document of detailed animosity. There is little hope in this record, yet its honesty and brutality is blinding.

From my discussion with Yuri, one of the most interesting aspects has been his humility. Unlike other black metal front men who exude a anti-social disposition, Yuri has been pleasant and inviting when discussing his work. His surprise and gratefulness regarding attention contrasts with emotions present in his music. This leads me to view _We, the Damned_ as the by product of intense catharsis. It has been detached from this cheerful musician and exists as a separate entity.

_We, the Damned_ has made an impact in my everyday listening. Its vocal work and instrumentation are exquisite and worth every ounce of its being. Wilds Forlorn has refreshed my interest in one man black metal outfits. _We, the Damned_ reminds us that a style which dominated the early '90s underground can sound as new and powerful as it did twenty years ago.

Contact: http://wildsforlorn.bandcamp.com/album/we-the-damned

(article published 3/6/2012)

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