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Wijlen Wij : Unveiling The Signs

Gallileous+Wijlen Wij+Dissolving Of Prodigy+Pantheist = a wonderful four-way split.

This split CD may not be the freshest release to come out of Polish label Redrum666, but it is well worth a review of its own. Released last year, it is actually interesting to analyse it in the light of more recent events.

Featuring five artists, this 4-way split album (sic!) includes tracks from Kostas Panagiotou from both Wijlen Wij and Pantheist, two bands also present on this release along with Polish Gallileous and Czech Dissolving Of Prodigy. If you already know all four bands and are wondering if it's worth the purchase or if you are simply actually considering discovering one band or another, the answer will be straight enough: Yes. Yes. And more yes.

Kostas’ opening track is a long intro piece to Unveiling the Signs, starting with samples of people heard in the background, then giving way to some church organ keys that sound like some depressive Vangelis suffering from an existential spiritual crisis. While this isn't certainly the very highlight of the album, it is majestic enough to introduce with grandeur the following acts. A religious dimension that will be carried throughout the record in splendid orthodoxy.

‘Zabobon’ then kicks off and delivers right from the start the fatal blow. Gallileous, also from the Redrum666 roster, splendidly set the mindset required for any bleak Doom record. Very much like Eibon and their atypical mix of Sludge and Doom Death, Gallileous intricately build the mood with peaceful yet haunting melodies, taking us in the dance of some blasphemous merry-go-round. Much like on their debut released in 2008, the band creates hellish vistas sung in Polish, adding complex atmospheric touches with the unusual use of an accordion. ‘Zabobon’ is the declaration of war that is yet to come.

As you’ve been left abashed and still panting, Wijlen Wij come with pounding fists to finish you off. An up-tempo martial beat starts hostilities reminding the unfortunate listener that Funeral Doom is not just about ‘the slower, the better’... this repetitive track really builds up tension and though the setting up may be a bit approximate at times, it delivers its good share of ‘funeralities’, interlaced with a recurring theme escaped from early Pyogenesis’ gothic splendor. Arguably not the best track of the record, it still captivates and hypnotizes and is good news enough for the band’s fans that Wijlen Wij are still active despite having released their debut back in 2007.

As Wijlen Wij’s drums still resound in your ears, Czech Dissolving Of Prodigy come lighting up the battlefield to make separate counts of those who paid their tribute to Charon from those still breathing but laying in a pool of blood. The track starts with an eerie yet ominous flute theme announcing the chaos to come as growling incantations in Czech lit up the dark skies. The band’s Doom Death with folk-ish hints is sometimes as epic as a Scandinavian stronghold, sometimes as crushing as the light-devouring darkness, and the delicate and intricate songwriting will have you want to slay creatures of the light in no time. No prodigy has been dissolved here. On the contrary, it’s been formed before our very eyes.

The Czech left none alive and it is now time to mourn the departed and start the funeral march. The duty falls back to Pantheist, who deliver a track destined to soothe the remorse and the loss of those loved ones, whose lives can never be reclaimed. Kostas' church organ resounds again in the halls of the dead to recount the epic tales of fallen warriors closing this war-like essay with almost cheerful anthems.

This may unfortunately have been the last bells to toll for Pantheist, who were unable to achieve something remotely interesting in their latest record. Still, Unveiling the Signs is really some great experience where each track is worth the purchase for itself, but when combined, the four exceed the sum of all their own greatness. Absolutely beautiful!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Kostas Panagiotou – Overture: The Madness of Crowds 2. Gallileous - Zabobon
3. Wijlen Wij – The Wall of Life
4. Dissolving Of Prodigy – Zlodejska Svetelka
5. Pantheist - Barock

Duration : Approx. 54 minutes

Visit the Wijlen Wij bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-04-18 by Frédéric Cerfvol
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