Metal is a good genre of music. Because, beside its own quite wide range of influences and sub-genres, it also offers an amazing variety of “affiliated” music. And I mean all of those other types that don’t really have nothing in common with metal (music-wise), but anyone -even a deaf person- would understand that they are linked so closely to each other. Neofolk, for example, would be a good one. Also dark ambient and noise music could be placed side by side to metal. And well, in today’s case we have this Crimean (Greek) band, Heather Westland, submitting a mediaeval / baroque sounding EP done in the metal way.
Under the Red Wolfish Moon is the title of this 4-song collection, in which, the 4-piece band featured well three basses plus one simple drumset. To make everything even more complete they thought to use bass guitars with four, five and six string. Bingo!
The lack of the guitar isn’t perceptible probably because the product has been filled with some synths and effects played via MIDI through the basses themselves. Thus, as you can easily imagine, this EP may appear quite interesting both composition and sounding-wise. And it does. Even if a better, clearer production would have helped. But, it is also commonly known that fitting together more than one bass instrument in the same mix isn’t an easy duty.
However, the nice catch of this Under the Red Wolfish Moon is how the band managed to result exquisitely baroque in the sound while making clear their own inclination for metal music.
The album starts with the two darkest tunes out of the whole collection (which counts four proper tracks plus one, older demo). Tre Sverd is the opener as well as the real medieval one. It’s possibly the most pleasant song as well. Very nice is the sound of the “flanged” bass you can hear in it. Afterwards, we come across the title track. And here the first baroque influences take place, fulfilling another catchy, mysterious and a bit obscure track.13
The second part of the EP definitely goes toward a technical change. Venice (Barocco Veneziano) shows some serious, romantic arpeggios and badass playing. While Beltane / Wicker Man goes on where we were left on the previous one. Hence, an intricate “dialogue” of three basses, often lying on some distant heavy metal-styled riffs and melodies.
The song that actually closes thing up is just a demo version of the title track -as, already mentioned-, so I think you won’t mind if I’m not gonna cover it -again.
All in all, Heather Wasteland’s Under the Red Wolfish Moon goes along pretty well. Sure, it could have been improved in certain points. Productions and sound quality on top. Then some arrangements and bass “harmonizations” are too busy and lack of clarity, and finally, also drums tend to get carried away -towards heavier and utterly metal grounds (but I do understand you, drummer!)- from time to time. But yeah, I enjoyed this one and you’ll do too if you’re up for something unusual. If you like medieval-inspired music this will be a must instead!