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Receiving Wall of the Eyeless‘ second demo, Wimfolsfestta was a nice surprise for me, having enjoyed their 2011 demo Through Emptiness. The Russian/Swedish collaborative managed to capture the attention of many with the nice balance between brutality and beauty with Through Emptiness, and has certainly left one with rather high expectations on their new release.
Perhaps the first thing that one would notice is the extremely huge jump in the production quality of the music on Wimfolsfestta, with the band abandoning the raw and unpolished sound that was on Through Emptiness, and this is definitely a right step forward for the band’s musical stylistics. Each of the instruments ring out clearly, from the drums of Simon to the clean guitars and the soaring lead tone of SL. Having Jens Borgen at the production seat has certainly paid off for the band, allowing for the music of Wall of the Eyeless to really shine.
It might not be entirely surprising then that the band’s sound has a marked increase in its Swedish leanings, with the sound and the entire style of the music on Wimfolsfestta being rathe reminiscent to bands such as October Tide‘s recent release with the fusion of brutal, crushing death metal riffs and the emotional lead guitar lines and the melancholic and somewhat depressive atmosphere that lingers. There are even moments where one is reminded of the gothic/doom style of bands such as Draconian, and songs like Revulsion Fever giving a slight post-metal feel (think Alcest, but slightly heavier), with the beautiful soundscape that Wall of the Eyeless has created on this demo.
One other thing that one would notice is the marked maturity in the songwriting, with each of the tracks being much more coherent compared to the slightly aimless feel that Through Emptiness gave to listeners. The songs are much more tighter than older tracks, and this is not only in the way they are executed by SL and Simon, but also in the nice flow of the entire album, seamlessly alternating between aggressive death metal segments and more soothing and calming ones. This is especially evident on the longer tracks of the album, Flicker and Piercing Mist. Such transitions also allow for SL to display his vocal abilities.
For a demo, Wimfolsfestta has been masterfully crafted, and one can easily hear the amount of effort that the band has put into every aspects of this album. It leaves one to wonder what more to expect from Wall of the Eyeless.