W.A.I.L. - _W.A.I.L._
(Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions, 2011)
by: Dan Lake (9 out of 10)
Any metal band starting an album with hand percussion deserves an invitation to the Wickedawesome Society. They might get kicked out later for obscene noodling behavior or other sophomoric lameness, and ordinarily just naming your band Wisdom through Agony into Illumination and Lunacy (conveniently abbreviated W.A.I.L.) makes prolonged membership unlikely. But after a few spins, the band name feels less like pretension and more like prophecy, as the tarred-and-torched deathcrush of the Finns' debut full-length practically makes the smashing together of "wicked" and "awesome" a linguistic fucking mandate.

One glance at the band name (whose component words double here as song titles) and track lengths cries monolithic doom, perhaps even that of the sedated, chopless variety. That glance should be slapped for being a shallow, cynical bitch. Sure, the initial build-up rests on super-slow guitar and bass shambling -- "Initiation" draws the listener into its world with a menacing theme that gradually intensifies with sinister percussive accents and a detached vocal "aah" -- but it doesn't take long for drummer S.F. to bring the speed and guitarist A.E. to join the fray. From there, riffs flow like the finest deathly wine: so smooth that changes from one to the next are hardly noticed, so plentiful that none of the songs' ten-minute tenure ever feels forced or overlong.

"Wisdom" raises the heaviosity and bps (slightly) on those opening minutes before unleashing its double-time thunder. Guitars rumble and ring out in cascades of roiling down-tunage. Solos occasionally rear out of the mix, but they never quite break free of the low-end muck that clings to _W.A.I.L._'s every surface. Drums tumble and break over everything, whether dropping a militant march on "Agony" or carpet-bombing the blackened landscape of "Illumination". A stark piano melody highlights the latter song's darkened middle section, and the droning melancholy of Katarina Moisio's violin on "Wisdom" and "Lunacy" superbly complements their dissonant atmosphere. And while grunted vocals smothered in molten riffs often help bands hide boorish or absurd lyrics, W.A.I.L. could read their incantations at a sober self-help meeting and have a cult doing their bidding in ten minutes or less.

So yes, W.A.I.L. have been issued full Wickedawesome membership. Who knows, maybe YOB is getting tired of leading the meetings and we'll end up making W.A.I.L. the Masters of Ceremony. That would be seriously ultrabadnasty.

Contact: http://www.ahdistuksenaihio.com/

(article published 19/4/2011)

8/1/2015 D Lake 7.5 W.A.I.L. - II
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