Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Words Of Farewell-The Black Wild Yonder

AFM Records

As just one of many CDs that I received in the mail last Friday (April 18th to be exact with a special thanks to Dustin Hardman for the well-stocked package of goodies!) "The Black Wild Yonder" has thus far proven to be one of the better surprises. Maybe I wasn't expecting a lot out of this German collective, but that would be of no fault of their own. "Words Of Farewell", who have been on the scene since 2006 or so, are melodic death metal done right. Perhaps it is just that that term, "melodic death metal", is every-present and over-used? Or maybe it's just that there are so many newcomers in this field that it has blinded me to the fact that there are still elegant acts out, with a foothold planted firmly in the greats of the past thank you very much(!), that are doing much more then simply riding out the current fad trends? Whatever the case I owe this lot an apology and the aforementioned explanation. For "The Black Wild Yonder" is a release which you could easily use to set aside as a standard of the field and that is a good thing. A very good thing indeed! Take away the obvious, melodic passages executed with precision and written in such a manor as to flow and peak at all the right moments, and you're still left to witness a band that has marvelous "metal" aspect to their overall sound. That probably sounds as if it should be a given, but for this German lot there is a clever balance point in play between the two extremes. The melodic side of Words Of Farewell is clearly meant to appear as good as it gets (and it does so as careful consideration was obviously given to each and every line present within the band's sophomore output and, to that end, Leo Wichmann 's keyboard passages are exquisite!), but one thing that is even more enjoyable to discover (so I implore you to do just that!) is that when the band-mates concentrate on the heaviness factor of their sound it's turned upside-down/inside-out with only the BEST of the BEST leads (something guitarist Erik Gaßmus should be awarded for!) having been chosen. One could try to pin-point the rock elements in this band's overall direction on "The Black Yonder", but it's better to just point out that it is there as opposed to where it came from! Rock-based construction is nothing new in this day and age of course. For Words Of Farewell they may not be the innovators, but they've taken such a concept as far as it can be taken while still maintaining a healthy metallic  approach to their delivery. Everyone plays their part here perfectly (up to and including vocalist Nicolas Alexander Otto) so there's never an uncomfortable component to Words Of Farewell. There's never a lull in the action either as this German collective carefully moves it's peaces across the chess board paying special attention to what comes next. Beautifully-constructed and perfectly-delivered,  "The Black Wild Yonder" has made me a believer when it comes to Words Of Farewell. Even though I walked into this performance with no clue as to what to aspect I walked out of it with all of the elements dancing around in my head! With it's admirable rock and roll song construction, admission of classic heavy metal's influence in lead guitar work, moving keyboard passages and careful attention paid towards the past and present elements of melodic death metal "The Black Wild Yonder" is an absolute must-have addition to metal collections! There's nothing more to it then that! 

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