Cult of Luna
Hammers of Misfortune
Tracklist1. Eidetic Parallax
3. Window to the Nether
4. Unravel the Veil of Separation, Bask in the Serenity of Discord
5. Plane of Angles
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I should love Wild Hunt. I really should. These California gentlemen blend progressive metal, sludgy post-metal, black metal, and even some traditional metal together into their sound. When the band released “Window to the Nether,” I gave the album 5:3 odds that I would at least like it. I almost called Vegas to get my bet in on time. Somehow, the result was akin to the lead-horse falling on the last turn before the straightaway in the Kentucky Derby: quite disappointing, indeed.
For the uninitiated (and, it is safe to assume very few have heard of this band if your name isn’t Rick Gebhardt), “Window to the Nether” is quite an enjoyable track. Clean vocals are the name of the game here (though not on the remainder of the album), but a dirty, sludgy sound gives way to guitar pyrotechnics throughout. What makes this track work in a way that the remainder of the album lacks is simple: songwriting. The other four tracks lack the focus that “Window to the Nether” exhibits. On that song, the band sticks to their unique blend of post and prog, but the instruments exhibit a nearly continuous fury that would be welcomed with open arms on any of the other tracks.
Take for example, the sixteen-minute-long opening track, “Eidetic Parralax.” While there are moments of the fun fury interspersed throughout the song, they are dispersed by overlong passages of what the late great Bill Lohr would call “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.” Sure, that guitar solo halfway in is a joy, but when you can’t make it that far into the track due to sheer boredom, the positives are significantly outweighed by the negatives. The problem is that Wild Hunt has failed to create a thoroughly unique listening experience that will draw many listeners in. This is blackened progressive post-metal, and it will surely appeal to some listeners, but just be prepared to have patience, as this “wild hunt” isn’t so wild most of the time.