CD review WHEEL ‘Preserved in Time’

Wheel pt.2 – in a way. Important is not to mix up Wheel from Germany with the Finnish prog metal band, sharing the same moniker. In this review we are talking about the quartet, hailing from Dortmund, Germany and instead of progressive metal sounds it’s more the slo-mo doom riffs that break ground on ‘Preserved in Time’.

As mentioned, Wheel have their homebase in Dortmund where guitarist Benjamin Homberger, bassist Marcus Grabowski and vocalist Arkadius Kurek started a band under the name of Ethereal Sleep. Finding a lot of common ground when it comes to doom metal meant for the guys a shift of their music towards the more epic sounds, built on snail-paced riffs. Opeth and Katatonia, but also Cathedral and St. Vitus, are bands that inspired the trio that rather quickly became a quartet after onboarding drummer Carsten Jercke. With shifting towards doom metal the guys decided also to give the band the new moniker and it was drummer Jercke who suggested Wheel. Easier to pronounce and also connected to the mill wheel that can be heard on the debut, the band had all prerequisites in place for a continuation of what they have started with.

It was in 2013 when the sophomore longplayer, ‘Icarus’, started to spread its musical wings, followed by a time of inactivity for the band. Families, jobs and the lost of their rehearsal space put a break on Wheel’s activities for a while. Turning these things into something positive means, that the four guys found more time for new songs with seven of them being part of the tracklist of their third album ‘Preserved in Time’.

After having listened to album a few times I can say that the time was very well used by the band. It feels like Wheel returns even stronger and doomier, manifested in tracks like the opener ‘At Night They Came Upon Us’. Bands like Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus come to my mind when listening to the songs on this longplayer. This is mainly due to the excellent vocals by Kurek as well as it is Homberger’s slo-mo riffs that spread pure metal intensity.

Wheel delivers on their newest longplayer excellent traditional doom metal songs that all come with epic length. The anthemic ‘After All’ is with nearly six minutes the shortest track on this record while it is the glorious ‘Daedalus’ that finishes off the longplayer in a great fashion. Well done melodies, heavy riffing and a slow pace are exactly what delights the heart of doom metal fans, leading to slo-mo headbanging. The closer is musical storytelling, a yarn told in nearly nine minutes.

‘Preserved in Time’ is a melancholic doom metal highlight that refers to some genre heroes. This album is stellar, a music maelstrom you can’t and won’t escape from. There is no way for fans of traditional doom metal to bypass this longplayer.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. At Night They Came Upon Us
  2. When The Shadow Takes You Over
  3. After All
  4. She Left In Silence
  5. Aeon of Darkness
  6. Hero of the Weak
  7. Daedalus

Label: Cruz Del Sur

Genre: Epic Metal

Release Date EU: April 9th, 2021

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Photo: Cruz Del Sur (Promo)

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