It’s out of the mystical realm of folk metal that I really do feel as though there aren’t nearly as many large, bewildering bands that listeners can really latch on to especially when it comes to new names with it feeling very much as though we always find ourselves clinging to names that have been around for over a decade at this point. New blood is what keeps any style going as time moves forward whether or not any significant innovation takes place, and it’s folk metal that I feel needs it more than most other styles in the world of metal. Wilderun has been one of the few names that have become reliable at bringing such new glory to life, and it’s with their brand new effort that they continue to show us how it’s done.
Right away, it’s hard not to go into what this act has crafted to make “Epigone” and not start comparing it to the band’s previous masterwork, “Veil of Imagination”, when it was dropped not even three years ago at this point and all the true wonders that it unashamedly brought to the table in such fashion that cannot be considered anything other than wildly compelling. Yet, it’s important to know that it’s the very fabric of “Epigone” that feels distinctly different from much of what the band has done before. It feels much more like a progressive metal work that finds loads of wonder and solace in the ethereal reaches of the sound with the whimsy and adventurous nature that Wilderun has become known for still absolutely having a massive part to play in the grand scheme of things, but that comes at the cost of the folk metal elements being diminished however slight. That being said, though, it’s in no way that they don’t have their own time to shine anymore as it’s across “Epigone” that we see Wilderun really stretch what a folk influence can sound like in this context with the more dreamlike reaches of progressive metal really lending well to such a combination as it’s these nine tracks that really show us what happens when passion meets ingenuity.
It’s the sort of material that makes you wonder how Wilderun could be considered anything other than a contender for the future throne of folk metal when it’s their time to rise above and make a claim for that title with records like this feeling as though it’s only a matter of time before that happens. To walk into the mists of “Epigone” is to see a new yet immensely familiar side of Wilderun that shows us even more just how multi-faceted of an act we’re dealing with here, and I can only guess at what they’ll be able to conjure up should they be given a proper chance in the future.
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