Wilt are from the middle of Canada, hence THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, which is where they take you to in the 4 deserted and cold atmospheric black metal songs that comprise this EP. The first thing that I liked about Wilt was that they had that depth and coldness of Summoning (minus the symphonic bits), a slow but steady tempo, and remain distinctly black metal although the guitars are more Alcest/Lifelover styled than the buzzing cyclone of treble normally found in black metal. Take “Autumn Veil”, the entire song is foggy psychedelic with nice sharp guitar tones and even a slight hint of Xasthur in some of the weird guitar tones that make a brief appearance. The vocals are throaty and the delivery is emotional, nothing raw or shrieking, in fact you can actually make out the lyrics after a few listens. There’s definitely a feel of desertion and wandering aimlessly into a vast landscape of nothing but falling snow, or even the last lonely moments of an empty life as hypothermia sets in fully and you fall into the eternal sleep watching the leaves fall from the trees around you and the snow falls upon your limp body until it all fades from a blurry vision to a pure black one.
“Cold Misfortune” has a nice angular Xasthur-like guitar tone that swoons in almost doomy and heavy and then bends out a bit into an eerie siren. The riffs also tend to have a more doom sound and feel to them as well as the song structure creating a uniquely black funeral suicidal doom concoction. Here the tempo does pick up a bit more and the song is smooth overall, but not overly predictable. It sounds as though these two were creating something personal and meaningful as opposed to creating “black metal” that sounds like (fill in the gap) resulting in a solid melodic atmospheric journey through black metal.
The 11-minute “Empyrean” is my favorite of the four, tied with the closer “Pale Consternation”. “Empyrean” does have a bit of Velvet Cacoon diesel motor tones to some of the chords and a bit of aggression in the tempo, but the dense LSD mist of twilight dampness in vibrant shades of violet and fuchsia that hovers over the entire mix keeps it thick and hazy like opium smoke in a steam room. Toward the end they build up to a nice melodic solo that brings in a bit of beauty and energy into what is overly cold and solitary, and then they finish with a galloping pace on the drums and thick druggy guitar chords right up to the last minute before drifting and fading out.
For me “Pale Consternation” seems to really capture my attention the most as it somehow stands out from the rest, but it must be merely in atmosphere because the entire EP is consistent in sound and flow. The song starts out very dreary and heavy with a blasting rhythm from the drums which makes me think “climax” and then they drop down to a glacial drift yet again as the percussion taps out solid distinct rhythms as my blood begins to freeze over. On here, much like with “Empyrean”, they add in a melodic guitar solo and some leads toward the end that seals the deal for me right then and there, that’s probably why these two songs stand out the most in my mind. I’ve listened to this EP about a dozen times in the last few days that I’ve had it and I keep finding those nuances that make it so memorable with each listen that I find it hard to turn off after one listen. I honestly didn’t even think that I’d stay awake through my initial listen but unlike so many other bands this one caught me by surprise and before I even realized it I’d listened to it about 3 times in a row and for a picky asshole with self induced ADD like myself, that should say it all right there.
The entire EP can be streamed on their bandcamp site below and can be purchased for a measly $10. Wilt are one of my top finds for 2012 and a definite must hear.
Wilt is a must for fans of Velvet Cacoon, Petrychor, Xasthur, Dhampyr, Nachtvorst, Benighted in Sodom.