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Wilds Forlorn > An Ode > Reviews
Wilds Forlorn - An Ode

Good fusion of black metal & classical piano work - 72%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, September 5th, 2013

Not often I come across an act that combines atmospheric black metal and a love of classical piano and acoustic music in equal amounts. True, I've heard a few black metal acts that incorporate elements of classical or orchestral music but usually such acts privilege the black metal over the orchestral music which only ever acts as a counterpoint. With Wilds Forlorn though, the two styles are engaged in a perpetual tango, one style occasionally ascendant over the other and then switching roles, but always ending up fairly evenly matched. This should set up a permanent tension in WF's music that would always make that act an intriguing one to watch and follow.

Five connected movements make up this virtual concept album in miniature: each has its own title and fleshes out a narrative of hatred and disgust for humankind for its actions against Nature, acknowledgement of one's own part in the destruction and a desire for self-destruction as the way to making amends, freedom and renewal. The lyrics might not be very deep philosophically but they at least address the problem of one's existence and the impact that one makes on the planet and its systems in order to survive. While short, the words have deep-felt emotion and can be very moving if read aloud on their own.

The music can be tense at times when the classical / acoustic music and the black metal are running in parallel; but often when they do, the WF man Yuri includes warm synthesiser wash in the background as a link between the two that counter-balances any differences between the two genres in tone and speed. I understand that the keyboard music, yecchy to me though it is, is included to enhance the emotional impact of the music. Used sparingly, the synth wash also gives the piano melodies a slight three-dimensional effect and adds nuance to what would otherwise be blank plink-plonk tones. The drumming is preprogrammed but its use shows that real thought has been put into the music's arrangements.

The major highlight of the recording is "Time will take", performed entirely on piano: a soulful and emotional piece it is too, entirely reliant on melody and a still background. The rest of "Ode" is consistently good and the only really major thing that holds it back is the digital instrumentation used throughout. Live instrumentation, especially in the percussion, is always better especially for this kind of fusion music where there's considerable emphasis on melody performed on acoustic instruments. I also think Yuri could have been a bit more ambitious with the music, especially the black metal accompaniment, as the recording is fairly low-key and needs a bit of drama here and there.

A very creditable debut recording, modestly titled though it may be, for a multi-talented instrumentalist.

An excellent beginning - 86%

Thumbman, June 23rd, 2011

Many good bands have early releases that are lacking in quality. A lot of bands release quite a few crappy demos before putting out anything decent. It takes some bands a few albums to release anything worth listening to. Wilds Forlorn is not one of these bands. Right from the debut demo, this one man black metal band sounds exceptional.

Wilds Forlorn incorporates a variety of different elements into the music. Of course, the mandatory blast beats and menacing rasps are there, but Wilds Forlorn also has a calm side. The real star of this album is the piano playing. It wouldn't be surprising if Yuri is classically trained. A few of the songs on this demo are entirely modern classical pieces. More often than not, piano in black metal is slow and mournful. While there is some of that on this demo, there is also a lot of faster piano that really does a lot to engage the listener. His playing is so good, that if this demo was completely comprised of piano arrangements, it would be absolutely amazing. Besides piano, there is also some great synth work that provides an epic feel to the songs. At the end of "Mother" there is a subtle playing along somberly to the backdrop of falling rain. The addition of these calmer passages really adds variety to the mix, and makes the demo more interesting as a whole.

Now to the black metal. The black metal sections evokes a feeling of coldness, which fits perfectly with the interludes. It might remind some people of Summoning. Every fan of black metal knows that electric guitar is absolutely essential to the genre. The buzzing sound of tremolo riffs can be found on most black metal albums. Well, another thing that makes Wild Forlorn unique; there really isn't that much electric guitar. Sure, a few droning notes can be occasionally heard, but they are pretty low in the mix, with the synths being much more prominent. There is one minor problem with this album; the drums could be better. They are programmed, which is understandable seeing as it is a one man band. Don't be mistaken - they are competent, its just hard not to get the feeling that they stop this demo from meeting its true potential. Fortunately, there is a noticeable improvement on later releases.

Wilds Forlorn is a band that deserves a lot of respect. It is obvious that the man behind it is in it just for the music; he has released his music as a free download so that everyone that wants to can have a chance to hear it (links can be found on the WIlds Forlorn Myspace page.) Sure, a lot of generic bedroom black metal bands release their stuff for free. But there is a difference. In this case it is a talented multi-instrumentalist who obviously put a lot of work and thought into this recording. Ironically, it is people like this that deserve the fan's money the most.