By Dr. Abner Mality

Wisdom can be transmitted in many ways. Who’s to say that awareness can’t come from the roar of an electric guitar and the power of the riff? The Wandering Ascetic has come to enlighten us with heavy metal. 

This Singaporean band shares members with the Vedic metal pioneers Rudra and that grabs my attention right away because Rudra is one badass band. W.A. shares musical and lyrical links with Rudra, but this band is a little simpler in construction than Rudra. The focus is on medium paced and sometimes doomy riffing, with little to none of the volcanic speed Rudra possesses.  That’s a tricky path to walk but for the most part, W.A. makes it work. There’s a subtle flow and power to the riffing that sometimes creates an almost hypnotic state…best songs in this regard are the battering ram opener “Eva Braun” along with “The Exorcism of Mrs. Doe” and “To Hell, Back and to Hell Again”. These creep into your soul with their repetitive nature and unstoppable forward progress.

The snarling vocals are courtesy of Rudra’s Kathir and add a harsh sneer that contrasts with the spiritual bent of the lyrics. “Here For The Good Things” is a bitter condemnation of materialism while the epic “Assassins” bemoans man’s low nature while coming up with the most varied tune of the record.

Yes, there are a couple points where a dose of speed and aggression could have helped and some moments that become a bit too monotonous, but The Wandering Ascetic preaches a powerful parable here cloaked in razor sharp steel!