Warseid: Where Fate Lies Unbound

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Warseid: Where Fate Lies Unbound
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Warseid: Where Fate Lies Unbound
Black Metal, Symphonic Folk Metal
Self-release
July 14th, 2012
Release length: 30:22
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Warseid is a mixture of Black Metal and Folk Metal with some symphonic elements thrown in as well. They formed back in 2008, and since then, this five-piece from Madison, Wisconsin released two demos, and their first EP, Sentry, independently back in 2010. It’s been about two years, and the group brings us yet another EP to wet the palette of their fanbase. Where Fate Lies Unbound is a four song recording that just makes it past the half-an-hour mark, and like its predecessors, it has not received much coverage since, remaining tightly hidden in the catacombs of the Metal underworld. But, is this anything well worth being unearthed, or should it just remain buried and undisturbed?

Considering this is a self-release recording, it comes as no surprise that Where Fate Lies Unbound isn’t exactly the strongest as far as the production goes, but it still sounds pretty good. The Symphonic elements are incorporated through the keyboards and really aren’t anything that grand, being more of a subtle finishing touch to the mix than anything. The guitars have more of a deeper sound to them than a sharper one, and the bass is a bit lower in the mix than you would hope, but does have a lower tone that compliments the guitars well. The bass kicks have a strong click that tears through the mix fiercly, but never drowning anything out, especially the matching tightness of the snares. The cymbals, however, are a little further in the background compared to the rest of the kit. Due to this and the restrained sound of the guitar and bass, the music does end up sounding a bit open at all times, but what cymbal usage does exist ends up adding enough of a kick to keep it from being too hollow to be enjoyed properly. The instruments walk the line between Folk and Black Metal, though the rhaspy vocals cater more to the latter. Again, these are not really at the forefront like the clean singing that appears on “Shackles Through Sand” and “Farewell,” but they sound great and add a little more aggression to the mix.

The four songs that make up this release are quite enjoyable, but due to that aforementioned restrained issue, it can make less of an impact than you would hope. “Shackles Through Sand” introduces the listener to a softer Folk atmosphere at first, incorporating clean singing to the mix in a mourning manner before hammering into some pulse pounding Black Metal and some of the tightest symphonic elements you will happen upon throughout the recording. “The Vengeance Pact” is a little more on the typical mid-pace Folk Metal side of things, but packs some extra bite in the “epic” sense. The drums really push the song forward well while the guitars don’t work too hard at building an environment, but allowing some simpler, grander sounding sections to come into play. There is a keyboard solo around the half-way point that ventures into some Progressive territory, and really does come off a little out of place, and the only real setback to the song.

While those two are good, but nothing all that spectacular, the others really make a good impression on whoever happens to hear them. “Frost Upon the Embers” is a stronger track with a bit of a controlled intensity, sticking to a mid-tempo pace and never really violating it outside of tighter chords in the performance, or additional instruments to work with the oriental atmosphere, a unique sound to the recording that really stands out for the better, not to mention just makes the whole thing catchier and easier to bob your head along to. Finally there is “Farewell,” which is easily the best track of the four, and shows that the group, or at least the production staff behind the album, was aiming for more of an epic vibe than”The Vengeance Pact” let on. The slow introduction carries a somber atmosphere that the clean singing pushes forward quite well, eventually shifting from an acoustic sound to an electric one as the instruments suddenly slam in with a heavier, quicker sound that gradually builds throughout the song. The tighter performance finds very little from the keyboards here and there, and it’s arguable whether it’s a good thing or a shame, but when all the instruments except that one immediately stop, it does show how weak they ultimately sound. Thankfully this happens once, acting like a moment of peace before hammering into far heavier and intense Black Metal passages.

Where Fate Lies Unbound won’t really open any new doors for Warseid, but for anyone looking for a good Black Metal meets Folk Metal album, it’s still worth a spin. There’s no filler material in the thirty minutes of the EP’s lifespan, and even at it does become weaker, the band still manages to keep a catchy, yet rather restrained performance alive. You won’t soon kick yourself for taking the time to hear it, but going in with some average expectations is definitely for the best. With a better audio quality, there’s no denying this would have been more enjoyable, but one spin through Where Fate Lies Unbound makes it clear that the group still has a little growing to do.

01. Shackles Through Sand – 7:30
02. Frost Upon the Embers – 6:15
03. The Vengeance Pact – 5:28
04. Farewell – 11:09
Overall Score: 7/10
Warseid (band)
Warseid
Digital review copy of this release provided by Warseid via Clawhammer PR.