The likeable thing about the Wilderness' sound is hidden, lurking behind
strained howls and heavy sonic repetition.
At first, Vessel States
seems just an album full of murky guitar-rock doom. Yet it's likeable.
Somewhere in the mess of feedback and sonic sluggishness is something that
strikes a nerve, makes you want to hear it again. And again. And again.
Vessel States, the Baltimore foursome's second album, reaches into
the subconscious. It will fill the room, fill the head, creating an
enticingly dark mood, a mood that is quite addictive. Listen to this album a
few times and you'll need to keep listening.
The nine-track album forges forward hesitantly, as if some danger waits
ahead, but never changing territories, never assumes a new soundscape. The
artistic magic is in what doesn't hit you over the head; it's inside
something that can only be felt, not explained. Metallic riffs crawl and
repeat, hollow-sounding drums are hit with precision, and vocals escape from
a muffled distance, sounding as desperate as those of the late Ian Curtis.
It's the kind of powerfully humble album that appears to achieve nothing, yet still wins you over, leaving you wondering how it did that
made you think and made you dig it.
Vessel States drones and wails. It's like one extended mysterious
continuation of the same guitar-led adventure into darkness. But not only
will this not offend you, it will surprise you with its power to entrance
and yet never reveal how it's done.