Wilderun – Epigone (Review)

Wilderun Epigone

To take into consideration all that the vast realms of folk metal have brought to our ears in recent years since the new decade, it almost becomes painfully obvious at how few bands there are that have come around both since or not long before then that manages to not just leave an impression upon the fanbase but to catch our eye as they continue to do so. Bands like Ensiferum, Moonsorrow, and Korpiklaani are a few of the names that we continuously find ourselves coming back to over the years, but it’s not nearly often enough that we see the necessary fresh blood come around to inject new life into the style. Wilderun is one of the very few exceptions to have risen out of the mystical realm to warrant widespread attention with every subsequent release they’ve dealt out since their 2012 debut as they’ve both always delivered the goods and have never once been afraid to try something new to set themselves apart from the masses as well as keep things interesting as musicians. With the creation of their brand new opus, “Epigone”, it’s possible we see them at another peak of such.

It wouldn’t be a stretch in any sense to say that many listeners, myself included, will be using Wilderun’s grand opus from 2019, “Veil of Imagination”, as a general template for what is to be expected going into the eleven tracks of “Epigone”. While it was that previous effort that saw Wilderun as a primarily folk metal act undeniably, it’s with “Epigone” that we see them take a slight shift in focus and really emphasize their progressive and symphonic sides in order to provide us with a vision that is certifiably born out of Wilderun’s delicious ingenuity but from an almost completely different point of view. The result is effortlessly one of the most ethereal creations across any three of the implemented styles that I’ve had the pleasure of just falling back into in years as it’s around virtually every turn of “Epigone” that we’re able to witness Wilderun move forward gorgeously into wildly colorful banks of fog that covers visages that we know not, but it’s the sheer beauty of the aural emanations from within that one cannot help but be rooted in place content to not spoil the wonders with the eyes, content to just bask in ethereal bliss where naught could spoil just a fantastical euphoria. Yet, it’s across the whole of “Epigone” that we still see Wilderun embraces some of its more aggressive elements as the whole record isn’t centered around unabated serotonin as we see this effort tackle themes of internal struggles of all sorts to really show to us just what kind of multi-faceted act we’re dealing with here as “Epigone” does no less than standout fantastically amongst not only its peers but it’s predecessors in Wilderun’s discography as well.

It’s as if Wilderun wasn’t content enough to leave their marvels outside of the mind and the soul for the length of “Epigone” with the resulting album being nothing short of the precise brand of excellence that we can thankfully come to reliably expect from this band as time goes on with their eventual claim for the very throne of this special alcove of folk metal all but inevitable and more than deserved. An album like this can only come around a handful of times a year at the very best, and to see it come to the light of the day at the very start of a new year makes one wonder if it’s a good omen, but it’s regardless of omens that the clear and undeniable truth of the matter is that Wilderun has wildly succeeded in crafting a gorgeous experience that very few could ever hope to recreate in any form, and it’s the very mists of “Epigone” that are sure to mesmerize listeners for several years to come even well after the very name of Wilderun retires to become a legend of what’s been.

“Epigone” releases on January 7th via Century Media Records! You can pre-order “Epigone” and stream singles from the album via multiple sources here.

Track Listing:

  1. Exhaler
  2. Woolgatherer
  3. Passenger
  4. Identifier
  5. Ambition
  6. Distraction I
  7. Distraction II
  8. Distraction III
  9. Distraction Nulla
  10. Everything in Its Right Place (Radiohead cover) (bonus track)
  11. Exhaler (Synth Mix) (bonus track)