American Gothic is already the fifth studio album by the US-American band Wayfarer. I had the opportunity to listen to their songs already before the album release on 27th October 2023. Here are my thoughts about the album.
Wayfarer – About The Artists
Wayfarer is a metal quartet from Denver, Colorado. They are active since 2011. Jamie Hansen and Shane McCarthy are responsible for the vocal performance. McCarthy and Joe Strong-Truscelli play the guitars, Hansen is the bassist and Isaac Faulk the drummer, percussionist and keyboarder of the band. In 2014, they released their first album Children of the Iron Age. Especially the two most recent long-plays, World’s Blood (2018) and A Romance with Violence (2020) received good reviews by the critics.
Wayfarer – American Gothic – Track by Track
The eight song album lasts 44 minutes.
1. The Thousand Tombs of Western Promise
Eight songs, 44 minutes – especially if I tell you that one of the songs is just 85 seconds, you already know that there will be some epic ones in this album. Indeed, Wayfarer starts with the two longest listens of the album. The Thousand Tombs of Western Promise take you on an over seven minute metal ride with the band. It is an amazing trip: it feels dark like, mysterious, but also comes with a strong atmosphere and reminds of Americana genres. Some sections even feel like a great blues rocker. Wow, goosebumps are almost guaranteed in here.
2. The Cattle Thief
The tale of The Cattle Thief even adds some two minutes play time, compared to the opener. The songs have certain similarities in their style and structure. However, The Cattle Thief is darker and rather feels like black metal. Therefor, obviously, the Americana influence is comparably fading. I feel the opener is a bit more catching, even though both tracks do not feel lengthy in a “being boring” sense.
3. Reaper on the Oilfields
The dark stories from the Wild West and the prairie continue with Reaper on the Oilfields. The song starts with a psychedelic touch, when you listen to several distorted voices in parallel. The style of the song continues accordingly, leading to a very intense, threatening atmosphere.
4. To Enter My House Justified
This five minute track has been one of the singles featured before album release. Wayfarer come with quite massive energy here. Intense guitars and changes between different vocal styles lead to a very versatile sound. combination of black metal elements and Americana sounds stays fascinating.
5. A High Plains Eulogy
The fifth song is another one the band and their team picked as a single feature. The song is very dark and melancholic – I would even name the style of singing “painful” in major parts. The band is putting several layers of music on top of each other. This is sometimes a bit too massive in my point of view.
Here is the 85 seconds guy I already mentioned in the beginning of the review. 1934 is taking the role of a short transition track.
7. Black Plumes over God’s Country
While the beginning of Black Plumes over God’s Country suggests that this song is a straight metal track, the middle of the song has quite a lot of Western character. The guitar riffs finally win the battle, though.
8. False Constellation
False Constellation feels like an essay of the album to me. Different styles – the dark metal ones as well as the rather Western sound alike ones – meet in this track. Finally, the song sounds like people playing music in the duty remains of a saloon in a long ago evacuated ghost town.
Wayfarer – American Gothic – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Wayfarer – American Gothic – My View
I feel that American Gothic presents a really interesting blend of different genres. Wayfarer might not hit the mainstream taste with their songs (neither mainstream metal nor mainstream Americana…), but they definitely define a strong branding. And, most of the time, they are doing that sound in a really cool way. I absolutely like it.
Favorite Song: The Thousand Tombs of Western Promise
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