New York metal band quintet The Phoenix & The Raven presents another notable track off the group’s first EP – “Hero” (which was also the name of the previous, critically acclaimed installment off the said record) – the elaborate and rich in emotion and musicianship “Wayward”!
One of the first songs written by the band, “Wayward”, is a 6 minute and 14 second melodic journey. Much like the different stages of grief and sorrow, the song changes course at multiple points, provoking feelings of sadness, loss, then confusion, frustration and anger. The track starts off with a 0:45 second lyric less intro. The listener is given time to strap in, feeling the buildup of emotion coming. Halfway through at 3:30, the track detonates in a frenzy of guitar solos and punching drums – the most powerful turn in the song. At 5:37, the composition recoils back into its original melodious sound, allowing the listener “up for air”. Easily one of the band’s most uniquely written songs, “Wayward” showcases its evolution from a sorrowful downbeat sound to that heavier metal sound that dominates the majority of the The Phoenix & The Raven‘s catalog.
Lead vocalist, Benjamin, recounts his feelings at the time of the construction of “Wayward”: “This track, in a way, was a milestone to both me personally and the band, when we wrote it it was one of our first batch of songs we have ever written. It’s a reflection of my life and how growing up with loss affects a young impressionable person. It was also a chance for us to see how melodic we could go at the time. It is one of my favorite songs to play because it carries this energy to it that builds through it”.