WOLAND – ‘Hyperion’
(Out Now on Indie Recordings)
SINCE FORMING BACK IN 2010 and the underground recognition gained with their Conquer All & Live Forever double single, Finnish Post-Black Metal powerhouses Woland finally release their debut LP, Hyperion. Featuring a who’s who of additional vocal performances from artists like Geir Bratland (Dimmu Borgir), Mathias ‘Vreth’ Lillmåns (Finntroll) and Janica Lönn (Black Sun Aeon) Woland are looking to spread the buzz they’ve already self-generated, to a much more wider audience.
Inspired throughout by mythology and heroes, Woland have somehow polished their brand of Black-metal to eliminate some early crudeness, whilst still delivering that metallic punch and eclectic, underlying groove which at times gives an unexpected catchiness to the songs (akin to Celtic Frost without the clichés). ‘Live Forever’ stands out with it’s slow burning riff that concocts instant images of Dimmu Borgir, but continues to take its own path, avoiding the Black metal norm. By diverting almost inparallel they’re adding new dimensions to a well trodden formula, despite occasionally losing their balance.
Adopting a moniker from a character in a Russian novel will always add individuality, but when that character is a synonym for Satan, you kinda get the feeling that you’re in for heavy, dark, disturbing and loaded with atmosphere! And while the themes are stereotypical, they toss in instruments as diverse as flamenco guitar and jazz piano, making the whole affair diverting enough to grab by the nuts and retain your attention with the sort of crunching guitar and thunderous bass lines powerful enough to rattle the brain of the most zealous metalheads. Whether it’s enough to be visible in the swelling seas of Scandinavian deviants, is probably neither here nor there. What is clear, is that Woland is one of the most talked about extreme-metal acts for a reason (8)