When I first heard of Wedding Party I would have to say that a certain magazine a long time ago was releasing a free music CD through every copy, and this was way before digital downloads became a thing.
It was the beginning of 1999 in January and HM Magazine introduced me to two bands that I only ever got to experience one track each from, back in those days of being in Australia, while not having full access to what we all have today. They were Visionaire and Wedding Party,
In the time when gothic metal band Saviour Machine was in full swing, another contender in the form of Wedding Party seemed to be in line as another heavyweight in the genre with their debut Anthems (1998). And yet, that’s where they had seemed to have stayed.
Fast forward to 2022, when the excitement started to grow with the inclusion of Wedding Party at the Sanctuary tent at AudioFeed, in July of that year. The news soon was revealed that the group were in the studio recording their latest offering to date.
- Natas 1:59
- Starlight 5:44
- Come to the Alliance 4:37
- Here Below As Above 5:06
- Mirror Mirror 7:17
- White Horse 9:02
- Invitation 1:08
Ravn Furfjord – Bass
Shaun Shidell – Drums
Simon Björn – Guitars, Vocals
Chad Hall – Percussion, Piano, Keyboards
Sheri Luckey Björn – Vocals
I certainly am very excited to hear what is about to transpire throughout the rest of this review as “Natas” begins proceedings with dark and brooding sounds as Sheri expresses in a tranquil and majestic vocal style, that brings you into the groups first released single “Starlight”. Slow in tempo, which is expected with this kind of genre of music, with a beautiful mix of piano, low level vocals, and growls. The harmonious female lead overlapping with all the others, sets the tone throughout, and gives some blackened undertones.
“Come To The Alliance” steps in, where the previous single left off, and the pace picks up a bit. With whispered male vocals and a swaying rhythmic melodic structure, you certainly can tell that no high level vocals are being used in the way that we have come to know in the past. “Here Below As Above”, brings down the tone again with more of the continual dark sounds expected. Crisp and clean for the first half of the song, with delightful feminine tones, then opening the floodgates of progressive metal which adds to the flavor, and Simon’s clean vocal technique compliments the high quality goth metal ecstasy.
“Mirror Mirror” is next on the agenda with a spoken and echoing growl, followed by the sound of windwood instruments – but, as you listen closely, you realize it is actually keyboards in use. The continual slower tempo used forthwith, for a good portion of this track that is then confronted, with a blackened resolve, used in some more progressive and experimental veins from the old days of black metal. Then a faster paced delivery with distorted extreme shrieks, and once again the slower aspect returns. The final elements of the track lead into “White Horse” which begins with a real tribal quality.
The nature of this song speaks volumes, with the talent of guest artist Pete Johansen (Sins Of Thy Beloved, Tristania) on violins and strings. The track is aimed at the coming of Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation, and certainly different to the rest of the album, as it is the most progressive and most aggressive with a heavier delivery, compared to everything else here. As the structure is throughout consistent, with ongoing twists and turns, it has a nice balance of everything you can expect, from a band with so much experience and talent.
Finalizing this seven song journey is a brief interlude entitled “Invitation” , an orchestrated piece with Sheri displaying her harmonies, with strings beautifully complimenting and bringing this gentle yet impactful sound all together.
Overall, a fantastic way to welcome yourselves back into the public eye with a new release. Yes, I have previously mentioned that I dislike slow paced music, however recognizing the craft and genre for what it is, surpasses that opinion due, knowing what is actually delivered, to the listener as a whole. A great mix of different momentums throughout the course of this endeavor, and the total length of this release is near on perfect.
Christian Sullivan 8/10 – The Metal Onslaught Magazine