Almost a year ago, LURKER stumbled across a totally unheard of band called Heathens. Their motives seemed straight forward back then, as four friends from the suburbs of Cape Town in South Africa creating some thrashy and surprisingly high-calibre black metal together for shits and giggles. Exactly the kind of backwater, underground music we enjoy exposing here.
At the time, it seemed they had no interest in the wider world, satisfied with kicking out black ’n’ roll jams in their practise room and even plastering a goofy, grim cartoon mascot on their first two demos. But following the completion of Oh Mock the Heavens and Let the Heathens Sing and The Reign of the Heathen, the band recorded a single, Morning, which would herald a dramatic shift in Heathens’ sound and ethos. Drenched in atmosphere and molten-hot distortion, and all the while harbouring a vague accessibility unprecedented in extreme metal, this was to be the final nail in Heathens’ coffin.
But now they have returned, casting aside the tongue-in-cheek boredom busting of their early days and substituting it with serious focus and intent, reincarnated under the banner of Wildernessking. Having honed their craft to its apex across these first three demos, the band is on top form for their full-length debut, The Writing of Gods in the Sand, which is available to be streamed in full just below!
Attempting a description of Wildernessking’s music is a daunting challenge. There is just so much going on. Yes, they are rooted in black metal and the members clearly have a deep affinity for the style, but limiting them to this difficult and unforgiving niche would be doing them a grave disservice. There’s no satanic evil or rueful blasphemy here, maybe to the detriment of all you elitists out there, but LURKER says ‘thank fuck!’ Instead it’s the scintillating guitars, howling, wounded vocals and drumming tighter than a nun’s asshole that imbues Wildernessking with all the power it needs to remain stuck to any heavy metal fan’s record player; vast, rolling atmospheres that lodge themselves in the mind from the very first listen. And a logo designed by our very own Black Uroborus!
What more needs to be said? Listen to it! The Writing of Gods in the Sand will be released on January 23 through our good friends at Antithetic Records. Pre-order now and let us know what you think in the comments section.