I’ve played this through many, many times, and no matter how many times I go through it, I can’t get into it. It was really a journey for me to find out exactly what was the matter. And it turns out it’s something I’m sure most of you wouldn’t have though it was: it’s not extreme enough. I feel like I expected this to be a huge maelstrom of black thrashing, like a wild wolf savagely devouring its prey. Instead I get clean fucking vocals and parts that border on melodic black metal? What is this?
The production is so completely clean and professional that I can’t get into the aesthetic they’re trying to pull off. It’d be like if some 6’2″ blond haired, blue eyed handsome guy in a suit went up and started talking to me about how he just did a bunch of sacrificial murders in the name of satan and then ate the bodies. I mean I would probably believe him because let’s face it, if a guy actually walked up to you out of nowhere and started talking about the murders he committed, he’s probably delusional enough to be telling the truth, but the aesthetic wouldn’t be there (which is by far the most important aspect of a murder confession).
Aside from that, nothing on Wildfire at all stands out to me. Every track just sort of came and passed, wandering around the Tasmanian wasteland like I’m sure Deströyer 666 does when looking for creative sparks. The only tracks on the album that made any impact on me at all was Wildfire, Hounds at Ya Back, and Tamam Shud, all for very different reasons. Wildfire was the only track on the album that I liked, though I feel it’s only because the chorus of “WILDFIRE! WILDFIRE!” actually sounded pretty damn badass. The guitar tone was very early 80s black metal like, which coupled with the abrasive shouting of the title gave a really awesome look into what the band is trying to accomplish in this record: retro black thrash with a modern twist. I feel like the entire rest of the album feels like there’s much more modern twist than retro black thrash, which makes the whole message seem a bit disingenuous. Hounds at Ya Back is noticed for the entirely opposite reason, in that the chorus there sounds almost more like a harsh Sabaton than anything else, which just totally takes me out of the track, which had previously had a completely black metal vocal delivery.
That’s actually a major reason why I have such trouble appreciating this album. I feel like the black and the thrash never fully coexist for an entire track. It’s more like they’re switching back and forth, sometimes multiple times in one go. It never feels cohesive, almost like they’re competing for power rather than working together. It’s disjointing and confusing, but not as confusing as the entirety of the last track that left an impression.
Tamam Shud just shouldn’t be on here, period. It’s almost melodic black metal with clean vocals, on an album of which neither of those things should be present. I’ve talked about how I like it when albums have a final longer track that ties everything together, putting the band’s best effort forward. This is not an album that should have that. If anything, I would’ve been perfectly ok with Hounds at Ya Back being that track, despite the fact that I didn’t think it was great. Here we have this mid pace “epic” (I guess?) to finish an album that’s supposed to be fast and furious, in and out, coming and going faster than a virgin with a porn star. It just doesn’t fit anything else on here, which is ironically fitting considering the entire album feels like it just shouldn’t be here. Wildfire just doesn’t feel like the album it should be at all.
So yeah, I panned this. You can say I have shit taste for liking After the Burial and not thinking this is that great, that’s fine. That’s why opinions are great, because they vary from person to person, and nobody’s are exactly the same. Although it would’ve been at least kind of nice is Deströyer 666 had the same opinion as to what their music should sound like that I did.