It’s been refreshing to see a boom in Symphonic Metal releases this year; the latest to come out is Of Wonders And Wars from Symphonic Metal outfit WHYZDOM. This is their fifth instalment to their discography and this is my first taste of the band. After listening to this release, I will be checking out the rest of their discography and be keeping my ears out for them in the future.
Opening track Wanderers And Dreamers seemed a bit all over of the place, it was almost unsettling. On the other hand; when you are wandering and dreaming, where you’re going with something can be confusing and unsettling but it also opens an array of possibilities. This track does well to capture these emotions. This is my first taste of WHYZDOM and despite a rocky start, I’m glad I stayed to experience the journey with them.
One of the key things I notice throughout this record is how well they capture and emulate the emotions surrounding the titles. The band do this impeccably through stellar song writing and majestic musical arrangements.
Child Of Damnation is the second track of the album and I am already convinced WHYZDOM are the love child of EPICA and NIGHTWISH. This track is Symphonic Metal at it’s finest, everything I personally love about this sub-genre of metal can be found in this track.
Now imagine the riffs and orchestration from FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE with DELAIN’s Charlotte Wessells and Tarja’s vocals on top, this should give you a rough idea on what Ariadne sounds like. In Greek Mythology, Ariadne is the daughter of Pasiphae and King Minos and she fell in love with the Athenian hero Theseus. With a thread or glittering jewels, she helped him escape the Labyrinth after he had slain the Minotaur, a beast half bull and half man that Minos kept in the Labyrinth. Some legends say was abandoned by Theseus and she hung herself; or, Theseus carried her to Naxos and left her there to die, and she was rescued by and married the god Dionysus. The track does well to capture the emotion she felt during the whole ordeal and the tragic conclusion to her tale.
The beautiful and delicate opening of Touch The Sky reminds me of starlight. It’s an epic feat that allows you to reflect on things. The guitar riffs and solos really shine through here, they work flawlessly to create that cosmic atmosphere.
If The Final Collapse were in a movie, this would be the final battle between two opposing forces. In particular, two wizards standing on top of a mighty mountain, that could be down to the majestic arrangements capturing the pure dedication these two foes are willing to put in. I can also imagine thunder and lightning coming down hard. If DELAIN and Tarja worked together to create something, this would be the final outcome.
Right down to the closer Notre Dame, WHYZOM are consistent with ensuring their lyrical genius and musical brilliance capture what is emulated from each title.
Of Wonders And Wars upholds the statement that WHYZDOM are a French Symphonic Metal Institution. It’s a journey of curiosity and grandeur that every fan of Symphonic Metal needs to experience. Long time fans of the band will rejoice at the beautiful sounds on this album. If like me you are new to the band, I highly recommend them for fans of NIGHTWISH, XANDRIA and DELAIN. This album was a great stepping stone.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Of Wonders And Wars is out now.