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“I’m not angry, just disappointed”
It’s a well-worn and cliché phrase but is pretty apt tight now but more of that later.
Having formed in 2010 Norwegian troupe Wolves Like Us haven not been wasting any time with their debut album Late Love being released in 2011 and now following it up with their second album Black Soul Choir.
Although listening to them blind you would never think they were from anywhere near Scandinavia as the de facto style is a very VERY Americanised style of Post-Hardcore, all buzzing melodic guitars, jagged rhythms and clean impassioned vocals.
Not only that, they can write some very catchy songs and as the lead single ‘I Don’t Need To Be Forgiven’ appeared to promise, all the ingredients are there for this to be an amazing career defining follow up…
And it’s a pretty big BUT (I cannot lie)
They play it so. damn. SAFE!
Whereas the début album had a sense of purpose and driving urgency which is briefly replicated on the opening track ‘Days Of Ignorance’ this is immediately followed by ‘Three Poisons’ who’s trundling nature sums up the album in microcosm.
A decent melodic guitar line, barrelling drums, non-descript riff and then the vocals enter - and here is where the problem lies - were before they sounded impassioned here they sound lethargic killing the songs of any momentum.
As such, most of the eleven tracks on offer essentially float by with only the scaling guitar lines of ‘When We Will Ever Sleep’ and the breakdown of ‘Did With Your Hands’ really catching the attention on the first few listens.
And then there is ‘Lovescared’ an acoustic ballad which wouldn’t sound out of place on any American rock album from ten years ago (Stained etc)
Maybe it needs repeated listens for it to click, maybe this is just not for me, maybe I’ve been spoilt by all the other exciting metal and hardcore bands are coming out of Norway with more spark like Kveletrak, Jagged Vision, Man The Machetes, Dunderbeist but this feels such a wasted opportunity.
On the plus side though they are a very decent live act in which these songs come across much better.