ALBUM REVIEW: Wildways – Day X

Release Date: September 14th 2018
Label: Pale Chord Music
Website: www.wildwaysofficial.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildwaysofficial
Twitter: www.twitter.com/wildwaysband

Rating:

Following-up 2016’s ‘Into The Wild’ and with a move over to new label home Pale Chord Music as a result of Artery Recordings being acquired by Warner Bros. Records last year, Russian metalcore troupe Wildways have returned with sophomore full-length, ‘Day X’.

Opening with a chorus of chants, the records’s titular track emphatically kicks things off, switching between English and Russian, lyrically questioning endless possibilities and paths that can be made from making everyday decisions.

Bringing terror and darker themes with standard metal stylings, ‘Breathless’ resonates much more focus on the core instrumentation rather than the digital overlays. The change adds a greater dimension to the album, but still resorts back to a formulaic style of a light chorus and short bursts of aggression.

In a retrospective style to early nu-metal and Scandinavian dance music, ‘New Level’ is a rebellious riot of Russian rap lyrics, showcasing vocalist Toli Wild‘s breadth of talent to intermix different genres.

Slowing the tempo and introducing some breathing space, ‘Skeletons’ is an atmospheric instrumental where the electronics are in focus, using a variety of instruments to create a wide soundscape. In contrast, ‘Sky’ turns it upside down and allows the band to take back over, and even includes some guitar solos which are few and far between across the whole album.

Discussing the impetuous internal torment of doubt, ‘Self Riot’ challenges us to confront the issues around us, yet doesn’t cite any particular regime or singular topic. This is a concurrent theme throughout the tracks; many of the lyrics focus on questioning rather than reasoning, which pairs excellently with the intermittent flittering layers of vocals that get their own treatment of electronic manipulation where needed.

While ‘Day X’ as a whole is written and executed well, the overall pattern becomes formulaic and all too stereotypical of the genre that Wildways reside in. It would be great to see the boundaries pushed further to include more extreme genres that could diversify their style up to another level.