We haven’t visited pro wrestling in a while, so this seems like a good time for that. At the Royal Rumble this year, during the men’s version of the match, Ricochet and that dickhead Logan Paul put together a spot where they launched themselves into the air from opposing sides and collided in mid-air, making for a highlight of the match. It was senseless, brutal, ridiculous, ill advised, and pretty fucking awesome.
This popped into my head when I was trying to think how to open this piece on “Indulgence of the Unreal,” the new EP from Minnesota wrecking crew Wanderer, who know a thing or two about laying a massive beating on their audience. This is their fourth EP overall and first release since their 2021 full-length debut “Liberation From a Brutalist Existence,” and these five songs that last about 13 minutes total are like that Rumble spot. It feels like the band—vocalist Dan Lee, guitarist/vocalist Brent Ericson, bassist/vocalist Jack Carlson, drummer Mano Holgin—put together music that feels like two competing masses driving toward one another, leaving only carnage behind. Their brand of hardcore, black metal, and death metal feels virulent and dangerous, seeking to split skulls. They’re joined by guests in vocalist Jamie Eubanks, bassoon player Alaina Leisten, and throat singer Steve Decker to round out this collection that aims to sever skull from neck.
“Pure Human Despair” gets things started by putting down the hammer early, Lee’s howls blasting through your chest cavity. The pace flattens as incendiary playing increases the heat, strange atmosphere hangs in the air, and rubbery force blasts and ends viciously. “Slow Death of the Crowned Head” brings jerky guitars and growls leveling, the playing taking on a post-hardcore-style sheen. Things feel loopy but forceful as slow sludging makes it feel like you’re sinking in quicksand, the drubbing increases, and the final blasts make their bloody mark. “Vivisection of Consciousness” mashes as the drums blast with precision, and the growls maul as your head is spinning trying to figure out where you’re at. The bludgeoning continues and chews frayed nerves, slowly fading to a haze of Decker’s throat singing. “Hatred” begins in eerie atmosphere, feeling strange and spacey as weightlessness comes on unexpectedly. Guitars open and slither as the growls deliver force, the shrieks melting as everything catches fire. Deep growls curdle later as echoes sting, noise hovers, and the last jabs are guttural. Closer “When We Stopped Asking Why” closes things with a thick bassline flexing and death growls ripping at your flesh. The low end absolutely destroys, noise stretches, and the shrieks rain down like daggers, nailing your limbs to the ground.
Wanderer’s fourth EP “Indulgence of the Unreal” is a total beast, a blunt-force combo of death metal, hardcore, and other heavy sounds that meld together perfectly. It might not be the longest release in the world, but it’s one of the more volatile collections you’re bound to hear, one that’ll make you quake over the fiery human emotions jammed inside. This EP bridges the band to whatever comes next, and while we don’t know what that is yet, we do know it’s going to be a force that’ll wrestle you to the ground and pin you in the dirt like an animal.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/WandererMN
To buy the album, go here: https://wanderermn.bandcamp.com/album/indulgence-of-the-unreal