Ultimate Demise


If anyone could give legitimacy and weight to a heady and oftentimes mocked metal music […]
By Mark Machlay
November 4, 2020
Wildness - Ultimate Demise album cover

If anyone could give legitimacy and weight to a heady and oftentimes mocked metal music of the late 80s, look no further than the Swedish band WILDNESS. With a cover straight out of the futuristic and optimistic movie posters of the era, the band carry the gravitas without any of the cheese and ridicule that comes with the music. Formed in the summer of 2013 drummer and songwriter Erik Modin joined with guitarists Adam Holmstrom and Pontus Skold and singer Gabriel Lindmark to develop an album intending to be just a studio project but developed into a full band by 2014. Bass player Marcus Sjosund would join in 2016 after WILDNESS performed live with several session bassists before deciding on Sjosund.

The band self-produced a pair of singles and was soon in contact with AOR Heaven to be offered a record deal. The band got right into the studio and their self-titled debut was released on November 24, 2017, receiving immediate international attention among melodic AOR fans. Throughout 2018 the band played alongside acts like DOKKEN, DEE SNIDER, DRAGONFORCE, ARCH ENEMY, and many others, further bolstering their fanbase. Just after starting work on their follow-up, however, singer Lindmark abruptly left in autumn of 2019 citing "musical disagreements". Undeterred, the band continued work and were eventually able to announce Erik Forsberg of BLAZON STONE as their new singer in spring 2020.

This second go around, "Ultimate Demise", is produced entirely by main songwriter, drummer and backup vocalist Erik Modin and proves the band is a force to be reckoned with in the melodic AOR world in 2020. They have much to offer here and wide variety of cuts to suit different moods. Opening instrumental track "Call Of The Wild" displays their unique style and prepares the listener as an early indication that the band refuses to be type-casted into a specific style or genre and defies expectations at every turn. If you like faster melodic hard rock songs but still crave the metal tinge, look into "Renegades of Love", "Die Young" and the riff-heavy "Denial". But if it's perfectly executed melodic AOR you're after check out "My Hideaway" and my personal favorite "Cold Words". I lost track of how many times I've repeated the latter and just reveled in the powerful anthem-worthy hook of a chorus. If you want 80s synth infused power ballads then they have you covered as well with the sugary "Falling Into Pieces".

This album is another step forward for the band featuring better production, tighter songwriting and an overall better flow in an album. Though there may be a different vocalist behind the mic, the evolution of the band's sound was unhindered. These songs are certainly higher tier melodic AOR but they have a metallic tinge to them that gives them a grandiosity other bands of the genre lack. Throughout the album is an extraordinary depth to the production, giving the bass guitar and bass drum its own individual sonic space uncommon for melodic AOR as the focus is usually on the crazy guitar antics and soaring vocals. By the time you get to the final title track "The Ultimate Demise", they throw caution to the wind and blend all of their influential elements flawlessly and made me immediately repeat it from the beginning and relive the experience.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








"Ultimate Demise" Track-listing:

1. Call Of The Wild
2. Die Young
3. Nowhere Land
4. Cold Land
5. Renegades Of Love
6. Falling Into Pieces
7. Burning It Down
8. My Hideaway
9. Denial
10. Borderline
11. The Ultimate Demise

Wildness Lineup:

Erik Forsberg - Lead Vocals
Adam Holmstrom - Guitar & Vocals
Pontus Skold - Guitar & Vocals
Marcus Sjosund - Bass & Vocals
Erik Modin - Drums & Vocals

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