There is something about most popular death/doom bands that intrigue me; these bands changed their style after a few years, citing different reasons like expanding their musical horizons, reach to a higher audience, etc. Katatonia and Anathema started to drift away from their heavy side to feature a melancholic, yet calm and eerie mood while bands such as My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost started to experiment a little further (34.788%…Complete by MDB is a clear example of this, featuring a while range of influences, including trip-hop). However, there is one band that is often excluded from this list, and contains one of the most interesting albums of the 90s: enter Sweden’s Tiamat and their 1994 record, Wildhoney.
Starting off as a death/doom band with black metal influences (which later morphed into gothic metal), they released one of their most acclaimed albums, Clouds, in 1992. However, frontman Johan Edlund switched everything for their next record, mixing Tiamat’s style with his love for bands like Pink Floyd and lyrics regarding nature, hallucinations, dreams, etc. A bold move, because this was one of the first hybrid records that started to appear on the 90s and they were signed to a big label, Century Media. This was the beginning of a period where extreme metal bands with death metal and black metal sounds started to collide with other genres, like progressive rock/metal (Opeth’s debut album, Orchid, was released a year later).
Wildhoney is a statement to that style, mixing atmospheric sounds and acoustic passages with heavy, crushing guitars accompanied by Edlund’s voice, which alternates between calm, whispered vocals and death growls. Also, Waldemar Sorychta’s excellent use of keyboards and synths shines across the whole length of the record. A truly underrated gem, this one is highly recommended to those who want to hear a mix between atmospheric, psychedelic and heavy music.
(Also, for you avant-garde metal fans: maudlin of the Well/Kayo Dot mastermind Toby Driver, one of my favorite musicians, stated that this album was a big influence for motW’s masterpieces Bath and Leaving Your Body Map).
Did you know about this album? What do you think of it?
Post originally published on the Prog Talk FB page on 18/5/2016 by ~Symphony