24 Feb 2014
Wall of the Eyeless - Wimfolsfestta [Demo] (2013, Self-released)
Sweden and Russia aren't exactly neighbouring countries, but still Simon from Sweden and SL from Russia found a way to collaborate through the band Wall of the Eyeless. Their previous demo, 2011's Through Emptiness, was generally well-received by critics, and thus 2013 saw the release of the second demo from the hands and throats of the Swedish drummer and the Russian string-rider slash vocalist.
Throughout the Wimfolsfestta demo unfolds dream-like melodies veiled in thick shrouds of colorless distortion, which only on special occassions lets anything shine through. A few holes in the curtains of distortion are divulged every so often, laying bare the inner workings of Wall of the Eyeless. The best examples of the duality of their sound is the folk-like interruption in Revulsion Fever, which in turn is taken over by one of the demo's best and most original riffs. Another example is the ferocious blast in Longest Winter, and at this point it becomes apparent that what gives this band appeal is this type of bipolar songwriting. The weird bends in the ponderously melodic introductory track "Flicker" leaves a small aftertaste of Inquisition's newer offerings, albeit with quite a different atmosphere.
The generally cold atmosphere of their songwriting contrasts nicely with the warm guitar sound, and while there's nothing wrong with the way they bend the instruments to their will it all feels a bit soulless. Wimfolsfestta is completely effortless in the sense that it's missing boldness. SL's growls are a bit on the hollow side, and while his and the band's efforts are at the very least highly consistent, it is a consistency that in the long run comes off as a bit shy and underfed.
This kind of Agalloch-inspired atmospheric post metal sound has really gained ground in these last few years with everyone pairing it with a genre and calling it progressive. The parts of Wall of the Eyeless that are actually death metal are mostly incredibly well-crafted, but the atmospheric parts on the other hand often come off as lazy attempts at a melodic approach that are, for the most part, poorly executed and bland. Some bands are experts in utilizing these riff types to their utmost extent, but with Wall of the Eyeless I feel it is poorly implemented. 6/10 guitars.
2. The Longest Winter
3. Revulsion Fever
4. Piercing Mist
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