Out of nowhere, this album appears like a comet blazing in the heavens.
I nearly didn’t bother to listen. On the surface it seemed like a daunting undertaking — one track more than 24 minutes long and a second one almost 35, and a title just as linguistically daunting: Wisdom Through Agony Into Illumination and Lunacy Vol. II. And it seems that this Finnish band’s name is simply a selective acronym for the same collection of words: W.A.I.L. (I might add that the band’s description of the album’s conceptual foundation (a quite articulate one) runs to 461 words.)
However, after receiving recommendations for the album from a couple of esteemed sources (Miloš and eiterorm, the latter of whom I must credit for the “selective acronym” phrase), I girded my loins and began listening — and emerged stunned. “Visionary” seems like too pretentious a term for this, but the magnitude of the ambition and the scale of the achievement are exceptional, and at times astonishing.