Wildspeaker from Dallas/Forth Worth, Texas just released their first full-length album, 'Survey The Wreckage', and asked me to review it for OPFMTD. They play what they describe as 'Blackened Crust heavily influenced by punk, hardcore, and doom', and that is a pretty accurate description. I readily admit this is not the stuff I listen to the most, but as with any style, awesome is awesome! And Wildspeaker falls into that category for me. To me, I feel this entire 'blackened' thing sorta started with the Amebix back in the day, and bands like Nausea (NYC), Catharsis and (early) Gehenna introduced it from the punk scene into the more metallic hardcore scene, and more extreme metal influences started to seep in. Nowadays it also includes a lot of black metal influences, altho Wildspeaker's sound is more rooted in crust punk and hardcore than doom or black metal to me, even those those influences are also clearly here.
Their sound is centered around 2 elements: the awesome guitar sound and the equally impressive vocals. The guitars are heavy with razorsharp riffs, and occasionally have that slight buzzsaw sound often heard in this style, but it rarely becomes a blur, which is a compliment to both the band and the producer. The vocals compliment the music perfectly. The singer's voice reminds me of those of bands like Gather and Belgium's Oathbreaker, piercing screams that are raspy, throaty and full of conviction. Lyrically the band takes a very nihilistic, mysanthropic & apocalyptic stance, humanity fucked up and nature will eventually rise up against our destructive habits.
In their email to me they mentioned their influences also include 90s hardcore (inspired) bands like Chokehold, Racetraitor and the aforementioned Gather. I would also add bands like the amazing Zero Hour and their successor Children Of Barren Wasteland to that list.
Wildspeaker is seriously good, even if you don't wear tight black jeans covered in patches and a bullet belt. It's always great to come across bands that surprise you, and Wildspeaker certainly does. Please give them a chance! I don't think their album has been released in physical form (yet?), so for now check it out on their bandcamp. My favorite track? Tie between 'Abrupt Decay' and title track 'Survey The Wreckage'.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
In any case, for some reason Stronghold never seemed to really get the attention and recognition they deserved. I also have no idea what the band members did once the band folded, if anybody knows, please leave a comment! The band would also contribute to the 'Live At The New Space' double 7" live compilation. I might post that at a later date. There's a pop in 'Only Human' that I was unable to remove, sorry about that!
Stronghold - s/t 7"
Stronghold - Ad Infinitum... 7"