Waylander - _Reawakening Pride Once Lost_
(Century Media, 1998)
by: Paul Schwarz (7 out of 10)
Waylander are an Irish band blending Irish folk and blackened death/thrash metal. Being pretty competent at playing both styles separately, as they do on "Gaelic Dawn" and "Emain Macha", respectively, they also do a decent job of combining them -- see "Victory Feast". This is not to say the album is supremely original, although the use of a tin whistle is refreshingly untrendy, if not too far from a flute or similar instrument. It is not in the originality stakes that Waylander will succeed; it is the skillful way they have written, recorded and produced this set of songs that gives them a little of that crucial edge, not their compositions. One positive point is that all the elements combine well and none of the subtleties appear to have been drowned out. The band have also given their set of traditional rock instruments a good production, with great big chunky guitars, thumping drums and bass line and decent vocals. Lyrically, the band, like many others (see Einherjer), have chosen their heritage as inspiration, but what is funny about this is it allows me to, in my case favourably, compare them to Manowar. Their tales of battles, heroes and kings are not dissimilar to the true "Kings of Metal", and although Waylander's music resembles Manowar as obviously as rock resembles folk (read between these lines), I challenge any Manowar fan to deny that the way "Hero's Lament" opens is similar to "Hail and Kill". A solid debut and a band worth keeping a third eye on.

(article published 8/7/1998)


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