Album Review: WOLF KING Loyal To The Soil
Now, this is an interesting one. Wolf King has made some pretty cool moves in the last few years in the Bay Area underground. Still, their Prosthetic Records debut, Loyal To The Soil, is a bold new step for the band. It encapsulates all of what they have created in the past few years into eleven concise tracks of blackened hardcore madness. This is a genre that is difficult to pull off properly and one that definitely will have you questioning the future of both genres.
There is a wonderful vision behind Wolf King that makes them the band for their time and place though. The breadth of their sound, but also the ability to rip your throat out and nail it to the wall speaks to the power of this group of musicians. Laying down crusty grooves with touches of black metal brilliance, Loyal To The Soil is more than just a triumphant album—it's a veritable sonic adventure and one we won't soon forget.
What gets me going though is the sense of infectious bloodthirst. Hardcore is frequently a genre that gets lost up its own ass. Yet, by embracing underground metal, Wolf King easily sidestep these limitations and craft something exciting. A big part of what makes this record special too is the vocal delivery. It perfectly locks in with the rhythms in order to act as a driving force and in many ways an auxiliary percussive element, something only the best extreme metal bands have been able to truly master. There is a sense of balance here too that is key to the flow of the album. The wide open crush and arpeggiated chords that accent the slower moments prove a fitting counterpoint to the band's tendency to fly into a riffy black metal rage.
There is a pulse to Loyal To The Soil that is undeniably fun. The crunchy attack of the guitar tone is a fitting addition to the band's decimating power. Elegantly produced and focusing on the strengths of the genres it fuses together, this is an album that can't help but excite folks who love all things extreme. While it probably will alienate black metal purists as much as hardcore kids, those of us who love it all will realize that Wolf King has the potential to do something special.
While blackened hardcore obviously has been a genre for a while now, Loyal To The Soil hints at a band who can allow the music to embrace bold new vistas and push the boundaries in ways that haven't really been done before. There is a lot to sink your teeth into here, and this is a band who, as they mature is not only going to find an audience but hone a sound for the world to love.
Order Loyal to the Soil now from Prosthetic Records.