Do you remember the feeling you had when you first heard As the Flower Withers, Lost Paradise or Serenades? If you’re like me and thought this genre had seen it’s best albums almost two decades, or you agree with Ray’s review of the most recent My Dying Bride album (2011’s Evinta), then you need to track this album down! Originally self-released on vinyl LP in 2009, this is the CD version with “improved mastering and layout.” Regardless of your format choice (I own both for good measure), this Finnish band’s debut full-length is outstanding. While easily categorized as Death/Doom, what sets W.A.I.L. apart is how they managed to capture the feeling of the pioneers, My Dying Bride in particular, while crafting original songs with near perfect tempo variation. Their music is laden with crushing, memorable riffs and tons of atmosphere. The percussion incorporating drums, keys, bongos, djemble, tambourine, triangle and maracas is brilliantly arranged, adding to the either the ambiance or heaviness as needed. The vocals follow suit and the “clean” vocals never cross that line leading into pure weakness like so many recent Death/Doom offerings. There aren’t female vocals, but if there were they’d be deadly. There are violins by a guest musician and, while not offering anything you haven’t heard before, they fit perfectly in place in the one song they’re used. This concept album, based on the band’s acrostic name, is it sure to please all die hard fans of the Doom trinity, and I predict W.A.I.L. will be signed to a major indie label (Profound Lore Records?) if they haven’t already.
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