Tuesday 10 August 2021

Age Of The Wolf/Tel - Vigils (Split Album Review) and Album Premiere Of VIGILS

Release Date: August 13th 2021. Record Label: Electric Talon Records. Format: CD/DD/Cassette

Vigils - Tracklisting

1.Age of the Wolf - Priestess of Cledones

2.Age of the Wolf - Slaves to the Riff

3.Tel - Punish 06:24

4.Tel - Downer

5.Tel - Salvation


USA Doom Metallers Tel and Costa Rican Sludge Metallers Age Of The Wolf have teamed up for a new split release called Vigils. Recorded during the pandemic, this release sees both bands bring their different musical and creative approaches for this release. Age Of The Wolf play heaviest side of the split with aggressive and violent riff-fuelled Sludge Metal whilst Tel play Melodic Doom. 

Both bands have similar ideas and themes to each other but use different methods to get their music across. Age Of The Wolf offers two songs - Princess Of Cledones and Slaves To The Riff. 

Princess Of Cledones is 7:37 minutes of frantic and groove laden Sludge/Stoner Metal with harsh vocals throughout and superbly entertaining blast of Progressive Metal with Thrash based overtones. The song even manages to be riff-centric in places with a 70s Doom style influence being heard in the background. There are some trippy Psychedelic vibes among the harsh grooves and vocals that bring the song to a fine finish.

Second song Slaves To The Riff is 12 minutes plus of the band opening with a long drawn out “DRONE” riff that splits itself off into areas of Doom/Sludge metal with Ambient and Psychedelic textures being added along the way. It’s quite a slow moving song at first but soon finds a faster rhythm on the later stages of the song. The most interesting parts of the song is when Age Of The Wolf play straight-forward Doom/Sludge Metal and bring a Post-Doom or Post-Metal flavour to this song. Perhaps the best song I’ve heard from Age Of The Wolf to date.

Tel are next with their 3 songs- Punish, Downer and Salvation. This is Melodic Doom and Tel shows a more melodic side compared to Age Of The Wolf. 

Punish is 6 minutes plus of Tel doing their own thing with the Melodic Doom sound. Shades of Pallbearer and Mastodon can be heard in the first few moments with droning vocals coming in and out of the background. The song has a well rounded balance of Psychedelic Metal and Doom Metal passages. The excellent vocals offer an exciting adventure which Tel plays to their musical strengths.

Downer brings a subtle Stoner metal groove with this 9 minute opus. The song returns to Melodic Doom Metal territory after a few moments and the grizzled guitars bring a cool “FUZZ” attitude to the song. The vocal chants return and the song soon brings back echoes of Classic 70’s Doom Metal and the stunning piano solo at the end is really the icing on the cake. Powerful stuff from Tel. Downer lives up to its name with it’s bleak sounding passages and superb lyrics the band have written. 

The final song from Tel is Salvation. This is more of an acoustic offering with stunning guitar work married against Ambient noises and textures. The song reminds myself of A Perfect Circle towards the end with both the lyrics and vocals. Though I could be really thinking outside the box there. However, this song ends this split release on a mournful note.

Vigils is a superb split release that will  please both sets of fans with every song hitting the mark and leaving you wanting more.. Quite simply this is a must-have release 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to David at The Metallist and Electric Talon Records for the promo.

You can buy Vigils from Electric Talon Records on CD/DD/Cassette from August 13th 2021.

You can hear the entire record below thanks to Davide at The Metallist.

Age Of The Wolf Links:

Linktree | Facebook | BandCamp 

Tel Links:

Facebook | BandCamp