Roundtable Review: Sleep at the Edge of the Earth by Wilderun
Posted by RiffRaff
Release Date: 7 April 2015
Length: 54 minutes
Genre: Progressive Folk Metal
Studio Albums: Olden Tales & Deathly Trails (2012)
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
WarpRider – An album of so much depth; from the proggy, to the folk, to the blackened elements. This is a very well-crafted, well-balanced album that took me by surprise after several attempts to get into. My initial listens were at work with distractions. Once I committed to a listen in complete solitude, the album gave me chills. To find out they are from the States was another shocker because American bands are not known for this dramatic style. Wilderun nailed it.
Overall, Sleep at the Edge of Earth” has many layers that will take several listens to absorb. Once you do, it will be a very fulfilling experience on a mental and metal level. 4.5 out of 5.
RiffRaff – Without hyperbole, Sleep at the Edge of the Earth is a shattering triumph not only in the realm of folk metal, but the entire genre. No album this year, or previous years for that matter, has found as many repeat plays from me like this album has. In the 2 months I’ve owned this record it has seen 52 full spins, not including the times I skipped to a few specific songs. Every box to be checked on my list for what I want out of a record is ticked. From album flow to sound quality to top-notch songwriting it’s all here. I honestly can not speak highly enough of Wilderun.
Wilderun really understand contrast and how to contrast and compare it in a flowing, organic manner. Going from heroic and triumphant to somber and introspective and rage to beauty these Bostonians leave not a single note unessential for accentuating everything surrounding it. Movement to movement every aspect here does nothing but twist, turn, and engage. About the only other band I can think of that can work contrasts this well is Opeth, and them being my favorite band and all, that’s saying a lot.
And the performances, just wow. Sick riffs, crazy drumming, empowering solos, and that voice that shakes the core of my being whether bellowing tenor cleans or thundering death growls. This is the stuff goosebumps were invented for. In short, if you don’t go below and at least listen to the Bandcamp stream you are doing a great disservice to your ears. Sleep at the Edge of the Earth is essential listening and if you don’t like it you are just flat-out wrong 🙂 Pure metal bliss. 5.0
Irmelinis – Initially Wilderun’s music draws your thoughts to Moonsorrow and Opeth, and is also slightly reminiscent of the orchestral soundtrack to the medieval themed game Skyrim (oh, the memories…) The first half of “Sleep At the Edge of the Earth” is mostly filled with majestic folk metal, while the rest of it goes into proggier territory. There’s a good contrast between wild and calm, very much to my liking; dirty blast beats and graceful mandolin/banjo melodies competing over the attention of the listener driven by fantastic lead guitars and passionate vocals. At times it’s a little too “folk-y” for my taste, where I’d like to hear more “oomph”, speed and energy. But this is an impressive second effort from the band, with music suitable for almost every situation and mood and a strikingly beautiful album cover. 4.0
ChristopherMammal – The best thing about Wilderun isn’t their stupendous talent and the excellence of their performance. It is the grandeur and magical power of the compositions on “Sleep at the Edge”. Every track on this album is a masterpiece of songwriting. Every song is the best one on the album because they’re all so stunningly good. Beethoven, who can hear just fine since he became God, would beam down and tell Wilderun that this album is to folk metal as his Pastoral Symphony was to the other folk-inspired music of his era.
Lovers of folk metal have to put this album on their buy-lists. Fans of symphonic metal with male vocals, progressive metal with orchestral backing, and modern heavy progressive rock, you should all do the same. Before someone tells me I’m being over-effusive yet again, let me declare that “Sleep at the Edge” is far and away my top folk metal album of the year so far. Anything that hopes to beat it would have to be divinely good. Wilderun flood me and everyone in my office with so much euphoria that the spiders who normally live under my desk (in the best folk tradition, I cherish and nurture them) are dancing across my monitor and waving amiably to the passing moths.
I usually associate the best folk metal with Europe. North America, take a bow. Your guys from Boston have set the bar for the rest of the world. I cannot fault this album at all. 5.0
A Metal State of Mind Score – 4.6 out of 5