Wolves Like Us

Black Soul Choir

Written by: CEM on 14/08/2014 16:54:14

The burly group of men behind Wolves Like Us have released yet another astonishingly loud record though Prosthetic Records. The four piece, born and raised in Norway’s capital, have awakened from a two year hiatus of touring with Kvelertak, Gallows, Long Distance Calling as well as the odd music video now and then to end the suspense of the album in progress. The relatively young name is becoming an opposing force in the world of honest heavy rock. Their sound is clearer and the tone is much more arbitrary. They allure to a slow death from the first track, and frankly that is exactly what one experiences when listening to their album entitled “Black Soul Choir”.

Their opening track “Thanatos Wins Again” drops with a double stroked snare/tom fill, drawn out chords and sets a pure melancholy ambiance for the record. Thanatos being the Greek word for the daemon personification of death, the word - by Freud's definition - was meant to describe our lack of fear in deadly situations. Relatively, the song releases an armada of swinging chords, Seattle grunge vocals and a fearless distorted bass that hums it all into a blend of apocalyptic trembling. My ears became slightly weary as soon as I noticed that they could be regurgitating a Melvins anthem, but it was of course way too early to make that sort of judgement, being proven wrong on almost every track.

The band has only had one prior release and I can wholeheartedly say that they are both decent listens. They're the kind of listens that you could really appreciate if you're on your way to work and the snow has fucked up the traffic and you're sitting on the bench freezing your tits off figuring out what kind of irrelevant insult you intend to give the bus driver when he finally shows up. Not a very positive analogy but you have to embrace the spirit of the music to really understand where they're coming from. Norway's one of those places where darkness is just something you live with, whether literally or in form of the immensely high cost of living or just the fact that the sun just seems to hate them 85% of the year (because there's such a thing as too much sun too).

If you combined While She Sleeps and Foo Fighters you might end up with something vaguely similar to what you hear on this record. The kick drum keeping a steady beat through parts composed of feedback which ultimately crescendo back into their enchanting chant-able choruses. The bar chord phrases find their minor counterparts often, just as the leads have a common trend of strummed two-string melodies. On occasions they come forth and declare their admiration for Afghan Whigs, however, I find their influence is limited in terms of instrument-use and experimentation, but prominent in the lyricism and execution of them by vocalist Larsh Kristensen. The raw sincerity in “Dig With Your Hands” has not been experienced quite like this on their previous release and evokes a scenic nostalgia. As a transition skater, the Indoor bowl sesh that was going on behind them in "I Don't Need To Be Forgiven" was also thoroughly enjoyed.

As a whole Wolves Like Us have met almost all the expectations that were allocated them after their first release, only falling short at times with a mixture of bland vocals here and there and slight absences of intuitive chord progressions. But in terms of it being something with unaltered value I can pick up in a year, it is definitely a possible achievement. I have high hopes for the next album and their careers as musicians. A solid drum performance, well mixed guitars and a pirate mutiny of energy - Seriously, keep it up lads!


Download: Days Of Ignorance, Thanatos Wins Again!, When Will We Ever Sleep
For The Fans Of: Quicksand, Amulet, Mudhoney, Man the Machetes
Listen: wolveslikeus-official.bandcamp.com

Release date 24.02.2014
Prosthetic Records

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