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Wilderun - Veil of Imagination CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.99 | 80 ratings

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4 stars 12th February, 2022: Wilderun - Veil of Imagination (symphonic progressive metal, 2019)

Every time I talk about this record, I think it comes with a few too many buts and howevers. It's good - of course it is, but it's also the follow-up to one of my favourite albums of all time, and an album I would consider amongst the best to have ever graced the progressive metal genre. And like this as I do, that's hard to avoid. Especially when, for whatever baffling reason, this one seems to get all the attention.

Don't get me wrong, I love the attention, and I'm glad that Wilderun have started to gain the following they deserve - in fact it almost pains me to say that I don't really get this album because I so sorely want to, even only just to show support for a band who were amongst the best in the underground for so long. But this just misses out on so much of what Sleep at the Edge of the Earth had in terms of melody, heart and power. It still has the phenomenal arrangements, brilliant performances and passionate vocals, and it's far better produced, but that's not quite enough for me.

I should probably talk a bit about what I like here, since I have given this a decent score, and I don't like doing reviews where I mostly focus on the negatives in a positive review, but in all honesty everything good about this record can be found by reading my review of Sleep. These guys know how to write riffs, they know how to incorporate strange Radiohead-esque chord substitutions, they know how to be brutal and how to be soulful, and they do this all whilst operating in a genre that is known for being the cheesiest music alive.

I will commend them for leaving the folk metal behind though, as I think that's a smart piece of evolution - too often bands that begin cornered into a genre will remain there indefinitely, and after literally perfecting folk metal, why bother staying? This one takes symphonic metal for a spin and although the arrangements are detailed and ambitious, there is an element of artificiality to them that perhaps dampens their effect. I'd love to hear how this sounds with a real orchestra behind it.

But regardless of all my moaning, I'm glad that Wilderun exist and are making creative progressive metal. No one else in the history of this side of the genre has ever done music with this much heart, and I honestly never thought it was physically possible. This one hasn't got a feather on its predecessor, but who really cares? That one was a masterpiece, I'm not going to shoot them for missing the mark.

7.1 (6th listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog -

Gallifrey | 4/5 |


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