Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Borne From Inferno Wings - 67%

Larry6990, March 25th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2020, Digital, Blackened Death Records

I don't think any band name has grabbed my attention quite as quickly or effectively. Not even Black Sword Thunder Attack or Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard. For as long as I can remember, the term 'gaylord' was used as a juvenile insult amongst playground bullies. But now it appears a British musician is using the term, in an ironic fashion, to propagate his style of anti-fascist black metal. I'm all for opposing fascism, and will always support those who actively fight hatred. However, whilst metal is an appropriately aggressive medium by which to promote such ideas, it has to be done with a level of maturity; something missing from Gaylord's earlier works - especially the debut: The Black Metal Scene Needs To Be Destroyed. Now on his third full-length, the beautifully-titled Wings Of The Joyful, man-on-a-mission Richard Weeks (also a member of countless other projects, mostly involving just himself) does a great job of covering the blatancy with effective metaphor and (mostly) decent songwriting.

This album immediately creates adequate atmosphere through its eerie introductory track "Red Wing, Dead Wing" which then explodes into the blackened riffage of "The First To Die" - a great choice of opener with its shout-along chorus and accessible structure. Instantly I want to make comparisons to acts like Burzum or maybe even Vreid with regards to the style of riff...but I'm not sure Gaylord would appreciate being mentioned in the same paragraph as a guy like Varg. Weeks' vocals do a fair job on this record - "The First To Die" being one of his better performances - especially when exploring his full range such as in the chorus to "Odd". When he reaches up to high shrieks, it can get a bit amateur. I know this is a one-man black metal project so we can always expect a little bit of a bedroom vibe; that's just a staple of the genre. On Wings Of The Joyful it thankfully never descends into total novice shite, and there is always an air of sincerity and professionalism surrounding the release.

Speaking of the vocals, there's a hint of clean singing (or as clean as black metal can get) on the storming "Borne From Inferno Winds". This was chosen as the single and it's a fantastic way to represent the album. The clean vox add a basting of drama, the tempo is driving and the riff-set is among the best in Gaylord's catalogue - especially the chuggy monster that drops at the 2:51 mark. Overall, this is best cut on the disc and is well-positioned at the record's centre point. We also get a glimpse of semi-clean vocals on the theatrical title-track which makes for a more-than-decent finale. There's a meandering instrumental, "Godless Universe" which attempts to be an interlude of sorts, before the album's much heavier latter half kicks off with the guttural "Thorns From Below". From this track onwards, things get a lot more chuggy, which I definitely appreciate - but there are some issues I find a little 'odd' (pardon the pun).

One sure gripe I have is that Weeks seems to be totally lacking in ways to end songs. "Thorns From Below" has great hammering riffs and makes good use of deep growls, but it whimpers to a close - the drums fading away and the guitar abruptly stopping in an almost comical fashion. The same thing happens in "Circle Of Spears", and it kinda ruins what would have been an otherwise poundingly heavy track. "Odd" probably should have been left on the cutting room floor; it ambles and staggers around lazily with no direction. Thankfully, there's the furious "Silencing The Voice Of God" which provides a welcome dose of short, sharp grimness and has the best use of an opening sample since Brutal Truth's "Walking Corpse". All things considered, Wings Of The Joyful is an all-round enjoyable black metal album. No more, no less. There are flaws, but those will surely be ironed out if this guy's track record of improvement continues with the same trajectory.