Wilderun are a progressive metal act with folk influences. They released their brand-new album, Epigone on January 7th, 2022 via Century Media Records.
There are few bands that can release an album and without hearing a single note, you can be confident that it’s going to be a banger. Wilderun are one such band, their progressive efforts never fail to wow and with Epigone they may have reached their pinnacle.
They begin with a chilled, symphonically tinged start called Exhaler. Where mellow vocals meet folkish melody, relaxing the mind and crafting anticipation for the grandiosity that comes next with Woolgatherer. A 14+ minute progressive epic that comfortably goes from tranquillity to pandemonium in an instant. Wilderun providing the soundtrack to a mind filled with unending thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It’s eclectic, it’s weird, it’s confusing, it’s comforting, it’s sensational.
Catch your breath, there’s no time to dwell on that one as Passenger and Identifier are up next. Combined, the two reach nearly 22 minutes in length and are both as grand as what came before. The former sees Wilderun continue to showcase their inimitable blend of complex melody and aggressive bursts. All while layering so much interesting detail throughout. A classic sounding guitar solo is the icing on the cake of this track’s brilliance. Whereas the latter might draw more parallels to the likes of Opeth, albeit with even more extensive and expressive oddities smattered throughout.
Now it’s time for a breather as Ambition is a short piece of atmosphere. The sound of a signal (maybe) on repeat out in the deep nothing. As it goes on, it gets eerier thanks to the arrival of a voice.
It’s the precursor to the Distraction series, kicking off with Distraction I. A perfect blend of heavier rock instrumentation, symphonic splendour and eloquent vocals. It also happens to feature some of the heaviest moments on the album. Distraction II follows that with even more meatiness, a powerhouse of heavy metal, where a more simplistic rhythm dominates.
Distraction III then changes tact, going with impressive melodrama, massive symphonic sounds and moving atmosphere. Before Wilderun deliver a monumental segment of guitar soloing to end a phenomenal track.
The album isn’t quite done yet though as we get one last blast in the form of Distraction Nulla. Chaos rules here and for a little over 3 minutes, Wilderun create bedlam. It’s the icing on the most delicious cake ever. Epigone is a triumphant release, Wilderun’s finest work to date and an undoubtable album of the year contender already.
Wilderun – Epigone Full Track Listing:
6. Distraction I
7. Distraction II
8. Distraction III
9. Distraction Nulla
Wilderun - Epigone (Century Media Records)
The Final Score - 10/10