Back in 2014, I stumbled on to Wayfarer’s then new release Children of the Iron Age -quite randomly- on Bandcamp while looking for local black metal bands. I was surprised I hadn’t heard of the band considering they’re from my own backyard and play a rather infectious brand of atmospheric black metal, a genre I’m a certain mark for. I was fucking taken with their debut and when word of a follow up was made public it easily shot up my list of highly anticipated releases for 2016.

Old Souls is the sophomore release from Wayfarer and it’s a worthy successor. The band excels at seamlessly blending their acoustic and folk-tinged passages with the more intense black metal passages, a hallmark of any good atmospheric black metal band. They build their atmosphere more by using instruments than any soundscapes or effects and the whole album has a sort of ritualistic feel to it given the plodding of the drums and the airy, open guitar riffs.

What struck me most about this album is the band has tightened their writing a bit, reigning in the run time from the whopping hour fifteen minutes that Children was, to a more manageable fifty-two minutes. The self-editing shows and keeps every song from overstaying it’s welcome. The songs are still nice and open with multiple peaks and valleys but they end right where they feel like they should.

Overall I think this is a fucking killer album from a great Denver band. I’m not sure if they eclipsed anything on Children but I think it easily stands with toe to toe with it.

The band is playing an album release show at the end of the month with Khemmis, Dreadnought, and the stunningly amazing Falls of Rauros which I’m sure promises to be one of the best shows of the year.

Old Souls is available now from Prosthetic Records.