2012 has been more stressful than a motherfucker; probably one of the most all-around stressful years of my life. Buying a house + assorted family and work-related issues that I wouldn’t even dream of getting into here managed to turn the year into a goddamn pressure-cooker. I’m pretty sure the only things that kept me alive were my wife’s unwavering love (and limitless patience) and an avalanche of incredible music. In 2011 I was feeling pretty jaded and dissatisfied with the state of heavy metal, this year I found myself feeling better about things than I have in years. That isn’t to say there weren’t great albums released in 2011, there were, but in 2012 I felt like there was so much greatness that I couldn’t possibly keep up with it all.
Wildernessking’s The Writing of Gods in the Sand is one of the most mind-boggling debut albums I’ve ever heard. How did a band that’s only been together since 2010 (they were previously known as Heathens) manage to craft something so stunning, so epic, so complete sounding, on their first time out? Sure, there have been some great metal debuts throughout the genre’s history, but let’s be honest, more often than not, especially these days, it takes the average band a couple of albums to hit their stride and release something truly great. Wildernessking is no average band; after listening to The Writing of Gods in the Sand, I’d say they’re bonafide prodigies.