Faerie King: Weary Traveler

There are some bands where one hears so much about them that it can push them into the background, kinda like “white noise.” Have you ever heard a super-hyped band only to be disappointed?

Then there are bands where the hype can’t possibly describe them. Bands like Messa, Elder, and YOB. There are dozens more. Faerie Ring is one of them.

There are bands that are inspired by one or two artists, and manage to belt out a handful of albums that do well, even become classics.

Then there are bands whose overall knowledge of history, style, and artistry transcend any single inspiration or two. They end up releasing genre-defining works that change the culture. Bands like King Buffalo, Acid King and Sleep. There are dozens of others. Faerie might be one of them.

Weary Traveler is an album that defies description for the most part. If I try to pin-down where their heads are at based on any one riff, rhythm, or lead, they follow it up with a moment of such singular perfection that it throws me off track again. They remind me of Doomsday Profit, who I wrote about last year. Same with Hail the Void. It’s as if they collectively listened to every hard rock and metal album from every sub-genre to the point they effortlessly craft something so straight and pure it’s like those albums never existed.

And yet, it goes beyond that. Because these moogerfoogers sound like they’re having a BLAST pumping out some of the most magically delicious tunes I’ve heard all year. Everyone gets the spotlight at the party. A band of equals who give one another room to do their thang. It’s fucking intoxicating.

And…bass solos! Like, my #1 complaint in Stoner/Doom is the one-note bass, following the chords. Not these guys, and not this bassist. He’s all over the place, ripping out arpeggios and counter-melodies like he’s an actual musician. Easily the bass performance of the year, mostly because the rest of the band seems to trust him and his well-honed abilities. Talent, schmalent. These guy’s put some serious time in the woodshed back in Indiana.

But for all that time and effort, I’m not sure if these guys are ready for what’s likely to happen. In this sense, they remind me of Faetooth late last year. As King Volume, the bands label, pointed out to me, “I had been reaching out to music fests and just no one was interested. Even tho – i have been like – they have a HAMMER coming.”

Indeed. In the meantime, the guys are working at pizza joints or whatever else counts as a wage back home. I suspect they’re totally unprepared for what’s likely to happen, as are the music festivals that turned them down. It will be interesting to see how many fests and venues suddenly have an opening…

From all the reactions I’m seeing, Faerie Ring is blowing a lot of minds with this release. So much so that I can’t believe they’re giving codes away, AND have made the digital version “name your own price” on Bandcamp. For the uninitiated, this means you can have the whole album for a dollar. Or more if you want the band to get a little more for their efforts. Personally, Weary Traveller could easily cost $10 and still be a bargain.

As always, make your own decision. Check it out here, and ask yourself, how much is music like this worth?

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