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Wyrd > Vandraren > Reviews > Abscondescentia
Wyrd - Vandraren

Take your pick and hike - 65%

Abscondescentia, April 2nd, 2024

Wyrd is a solo project of Tomi Kalliola, better known as one of the founders of Azaghal, one of the longtime, historic acts in the Finnish black metal scene. Contrarily to the more violent Azaghal, Wyrd is more dedicated to slower, nature-themed atmospheric black metal derivative of Burzum, Forgotten Woods and Drudkh, and often makes use of keyboards, folk instruments, guitars and even *gasp* clean vocals. That’s the case of the project's latest release.

Clocking at barely 35 minutes and having just three lengthy tracks, Vandraren is closer to being a slavish imitation of Burzum's Filosofem, right from the opening track: Glömt sounds like a mix of the other project's two calling cards, Burzum and Jesu død, having the slow, dirge-like rhythm of the former and the conventional chromatic E/E-flat-F-minor chromatic arpeggios of the other one, with presence of clean vocals and horns. Second track En farligt färd contains conventional E-minor/C-major modal chording and A-minor droning more reminiscent of Trist, with a beatless section with three synth lines that seem ripped straight from the sonic library of Dauði Baldrs, and final one I sorgens tid takes a more up-beat, double-bass route that still can’t hide the mere recycling of previous E-minor riffage.

Production is clear and discernible, but abrasive, with fuzz-oriented distorted guitar, treble-oriented drums, hyper-compressed vocals and barely-present bass. Songwriting is plain conventional by depressive black metal standard, and the tempo changes are probably the only thing that make it avoid stepping into excessive repetition. Overall, however, this is your standard Wyrd release, a bit more aggressive than earlier efforts but still devoted to Burzum-like songwriting and social-confinement moods, including limited sonic and melodic palette. There’s more interesting atmospheric/depressive black metal out there than this mere exercise in flattering.