From the ashes of Avantgard Wardaemonic was formed in 2005 by Regnator. Regnator left the band in 2012 and with that they added a new guitarist in Lord Bane while the drummer Maelstrom got double duties as he is both on vocals and doing drums these days. Vocals has been something of a hard time for Wardaemonic as this is the third singer (three times a charm right?) they try while having released five albums. Seeing Maelstrom has been in the band since the start I hope this time around they can become stable as I feel that’s been holding them back some. With that said, going into this review my main question was how would the drummer do on vocals?
As a matter of fact amazingly well it would turn out! I dare say Acts of Repentance is one of their better albums in that regard. Add the fact the band continue to try and perfect the sound they went for in Obsequium, which already was a way darker sound than their first albums (and much better too if I say so myself). You can hear some Icelandic type of riffing here, think the big three Sinmara, Svartidauði and Misþyrming, which is extra noticeable on the album closer “Act V – Repentance” and is hauntingly beautiful. The closest I find Wardaemonic being in terms of overall sound is Pestilential Shadows and Erebus Enthroned though, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Wardaemonic might not be a band I think of first time around when someone asks me of great black metal bands but they are on the right track and fact is Acts of Repentance is their best album to date, by quite a mile as their old albums weren’t anything I thought was good enough to get back to. It’s a very good album but I find it lacking bits and pieces here and there for it to really stand out and being memorable. That’s down to preferences in how black metal is meant to be played though as this isn’t as aggressive, satanic and fast as I like my black metal. Wardaemonic is on the path to establish their own style of trying to mix catchy riffs, brutality and slow sections well now on their fourth full-length album. Next time around I might get completely caught in their vortex of darkness and hatred. Right now I’m mainly looking into that vortex however but it does look tempting to jump in…
If you’re into black metal, especially this style of black metal, then you should definitely check this one out though as it’s worth a few spins at the very least!