All songs written and recorded by Wildeornes. Mixed by Wildeornes and Dav Byrne at Iridium Audio. Mastered by Dav Byrne at Iridium Audio. Artwork by Kieran Tyrell.
Released Sunday 30 April 2023
…On the Earth, Under the Sky (2023) is the fourth official full-length album from Melbourne-based melodic black/doom metallers Wildeornes (pronounced Wilderness).
Wildeornes formed in 2009 as a recording duo. They explore the overlap of epic black metal, atmospheric doom, and epic traditional heavy metal. Rather than chase a genre, they chase a broad and dynamic sound that harks back to the classic albums from Sabbath and Priest, where an album will have slow, fast, loud, and quiet. Wildeornes play black’n’doomy heavy metal for fans of Bathory, Mastodon, Candlemass, and Enslaved.
Wildeornes duo Damien Vennell and Richard H. Hammond have been playing together in live bands since the 90s; first in Ballarat hardcore and grind bands Without A Reason (WAR) and Peanut, and later in seminal Aussie stoner doom outfit DownRiver. They both have a body of individual works that span from psychedelic ambient doom through to crying-in-your-beer honky tonk.
…On the Earth, Under the Sky (2023) was written and recorded on the lands of the Waddawurrung and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin nation.
Mixing blast beats, growling and melodic vocals, stomping mid pace classic metal riffs, and epic song structures, …On the Earth, Under the Sky (2023) is a double concept album. Tracks 1 to 5 are new, tracks 6 to 9 are reworked songs from their album Gæð wyrd a swa hio scel... (2021)
The two albums form a conceptual whole that continues the band’s lyrical exploration of eastern and western existential philosophy, deep ecology, and Celtic, Anglo Saxon, and Norse mythologies.
The band comments, “Although it’s taken longer than we anticipated, we are over the moon with the final product. We tracked this album and did a lot of the mixing ourselves, with Dav Byrne (YLVA, Agonhymn, Clagg, Terrorust, Iridium Audio and all-round top bloke), helping us bring the songs to life and adding his impeccable attention to detail to the overall production and mastering. Kieran Tyrell (Fallout, Demon Other) provided custom artwork to provide the visual aesthetic to match the concept.
“It’s great to see songs from Gæð wyrd a swa hio scel… (2021) getting a new life after the pandemic. We didn’t have much chance to collaborate in 2021, so we’ve re-tracked some drums, vocals and leads to bring these songs up to speed with the new ones. Plus we did almost everything ourselves on that album, where this one has a professional mix and master. The results are an exponential increase in heaviness to already heavy tunes. Like all bands have been saying: the last few years have been tough, and this new album is deeply personal for us.”
This is without a doubt, a well-written, well-played, well-produced albums. There are moments that are just downright fun to listen to, the highlight for me being the sludgy, southern-influenced doom riffs of “Under oak” (track 4). But overall, I found this a slow, slow album that failed to excite me much. I love the concept, I love the design, I love the tone, it just didn’t connect.
Review score: 60%
Black-Roos Entertainment contacted me inviting me to preview Wildeornes forthcoming album, thank you. I have no connections to either Black-Roos Entertainment or Wildeornes. I’m not being paid to review this, but I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Black-Roos Entertainment, and to Wildeornes for continuing to create fresh, new music.