Wayfarer - Children Of The Iron Age (2014)

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What makes music stick with us for years is what it does to us each time we listen to it. Studies show that we have deep rooted emotional reasons for rediscovering the music of certain age ranges. But it isn't just the music of our childhood that we come back to time and time again. When an album takes us somewhere, makes us feel something, it becomes part of us. Wayfarer, a four piece based in Denver, Colorado, might not seem, at first sound, to be a band that you'll store in your memory banks for years. But they do something that will never go out of style, nor will it ever fade from your mind: they take you on a journey. With only three tracks, but totally over thirty minutes of intense imagery and sonic demolition, Children Of The Iron Age doesn't show much ask if you'd like to see something awesome; it just grabs you by the shirt collar and leads you there.

As if you've started on an epic journey all your own, Forests Ash By Dawn fires you from the proverbial cannon, a chorus of pulverizing drum beats and nightmarish screams. But this isn't a one dimensional slug fest; there is plenty of depth and subtlety to it all. Evidence comes early, just before the three minute mark in fact, as a guitar lead begins that grasps at your body and pulls you in to its maze. You won't be able to resist, nor should you try. Let it happen. You've been welcomed into the center of a finely tuned human machine. The drum beat is the heart, while the muscles bend and flex around it in the form of a fair bit of distortion. What resonates after this track has faded is the scream that ends it all, harsh and menacing. The brilliance of Wayfarer is in their unrelenting and persistent assault on your sense of sound and balance. Each and every movement seems to come through on two levels, both triumphant and darkly touched.

An opening pounding of drums gives Toward Mountains a foundation that would be near impossible to shake. Yet when the down tempo, distorted guitars arrive a mere minute later, the entire complexion of the track changes. What it boasts is a simple complexity, one that is fulfilling without being overbearing. That is to say that they don't trip over their own musical feet to build a complete mix. The vocals, in this case, are the crowning achievement; blending raw emotion with ear splitting savagery. It lives and breathes, so much so that The Elemental feels like an evolution more than just the next track. The darkness, now tangible, has erupted and coated the landscape in a thick ash. Somehow the cymbals become all the more important, crashing and sizzling through the mix. But it isn't only the percussion that steps up the plate here; the entire mix is astonishingly precise and balanced, from the utterly catchy riffs, intended or not, to the low end that shakes everything in its path.

One can't help but feel like you got a third person view of a rather meaningful journey on this album, almost as if no one knew you'd be watching or listening. What Wayfarer do so well is make music. Now, that seems like a simple, boneheaded thing to say about a band of any style. But it isn't as cut and dry as you may believe. The three tracks presented here aren't just songs; they go above and beyond what one would expect. They progress, they elevate, and they reshape themselves at every turn. To accomplish so much in just thirty minutes and change is a great feat, one that should, alone, attract listeners. But the success of Children Of The Iron Age is that it won't just get one listen, or even two. Once you've found yourself entranced by the seismic motion, it ceases to become an album or a story. And becomes something else entirely.

9/10

Bandcamp - http://wayfarercolorado.bandcamp.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/wayfarercolorado/