Friday, December 28, 2012

EP Review - Self-Titled by Wilt

Artwork courtesy of Sam Nelson.
 Logo by Christophe Szpajdel.
     Wilt is an atmospheric black metal project of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, that manifested from the minds of Jordan Dorge and Brett Goodchild. Their influences derive from artists such as Woods of Ypres, Winterfylleth, Altar of Plagues, Nachmystium and more. This debut work released only recently and has already shown an impact within the metal realm. One may think at first that this attention may be gained from a sort of false gimmick or just the right timing. Really, in all honesty, Wilt doesn't play off anything cheap. Their sound is pure and raw. They come off as brutal in the sense of darkness, depression, with a nice heaping of "cold" sprinkled on top. These Canadians do a hell of a job translating the harshness of their wintering homeland into this 4 track self-titled work.

     Wilt spans to almost 30 minutes, and within this 30 minutes you'll be immersed in black metal submerged within an atmospheric fog. Wilt immediately provides the listener with this vast sound in the first track, "Autumn Veil". Black metal influences are involved alongside these other elements, as mentioned before, which transforms this piece into an even more desolate composition.  I was immediately enthralled when I heard this opening track, mostly because I love the atmosphere that these guys layer over the primitive black metal rhythms. The vocals are just as dark as the instrumentals, but remain somewhat constant throughout it all. This can turn off some people but it fits with the idea of the entire work, so you have to appreciate that characteristic.

     "Cold Misfortune" adds onto more of the primitiveness. The guitar riffs explore more in this track and meld together well with the small atmospheric elements going on. These tracks send chills down my spine every time I listen to them, which is a good sign that this EP is effective at it's delivery. The intensity builds slowly, and almost feels as though it could erupt at any moment until the last minute where it seems like the music gives into it's own bleakness.

     "Empyrean" is the longest track and probably my favorite out of the four. "Empyrean" has a different vibe to it, as it seems to put a bit more details into the composition. The other tracks felt like they were panoramic views, but with this track I felt like I was exploring a lot more that was going on around me. Now you may be wondering, "What would be so enthralling about exploring a cold, desolate wasteland?". Well physically it may not seem to be too interesting, but within music there is so much more to appreciate. The emotions become more expansive as well. You feel why the music is depressive and dark instead of just hearing it. The overlaying melodies in certain areas are beautifully crafted as well. They do more than just enhance the experience.

     The shortest song of this incredible opus, "Pale Consternation", ends the self-titled effort perfectly. There is much more heaviness, not just in the instrumentals, but in every aspect. This ending actually feels like an actual ending, like something catastrophic is going to happen when the last note hits your ears. The powerful guitar work near the end really sold me on this one. It is safe to say that Wilt did their job very well with keeping me thoroughly interested throughout this work.

     Atmosphere is the biggest contributor to this fine debut. This EP is for those that appreciate the elements, that appreciate emotion and the feeling of being transported to a different place. Cold and desolate places that offer more than meets the eye; Those looking for absolute, heavy, brutal black metal won't find it here.

Release Date - October 31st, 2012
Website - wiltmanitoba.bandcamp.com
Label - Self Released

Track Listing

1. Autumn Veil
2. Cold Misfortune
3. Empyrean
4. Pale Consternation

Lineup

Jordan Dorge
Brett Goodchild

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