Monday, January 30, 2017

Ever Circling Wolves : "Of Woe, or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gloom"

If you saw my article on the mission statement for this blog in which I pondered what I was going to be listening for entering into going into 2017  that I called ....
"Metal : no middle of the Road"
( which you can read here... I talked about what I am looking for is not bands who take the easy way out and do what every one else is doing, so this band from Finland is certainly worth championing due to their originality. This doesn't mean they have forsaken key components for metal and twisted them into something no recognizable to the average metal head in a Morbid Angel t-shirt. After a three minute introductory instrumental that throw some melodic death metal at you that is mid to doom paced. The organic guitar tones allow the riffs to breathe and the notes to remain distinguishable. This ear for production that was put into the production of this album certainly lends it self to supporting their adventurous style of songwriting.

Their influences are worn to heavily on their sleeves , I can hear some touches of Enslaved and Opeth, but when things take a doomier turn they are more like Evoken if they were a shade lighter. They are quick to drive the point home with powerful chugs that are hard to not move your neck to.The layered interplay of guitar is one of the band's strengths . Three minutes in they speed things up and begin to remind me a little of Tribulation. Seven minutes in I am surprised by the inclusion of clean vocals . Now that is the way to use them.

There is a powerful back bone to the melodic classic rock running in the veins of " In the Trench" . This song does wind along a more jammy groove that finds the band in a much more melodic place than earlier in the album and some really tasty guitar work in play. "Challenger Deep" has an almost Tool like progressive rock feel to it. Four and a hald minutes the more jangling guitar tone finds this has transitioned into more of a post-rock feel. "Deeper" once again utilizes clean vocals and starts off at more of a ambling strum. This brings Agalloch to mind. The sung vocals here are not bad, but not as effective as when we first heard them used earlier in the album, I think a little goes a long ways here.

There is a darker menace lurking in "Lenore". The layered vocals open the song with more of a spoken narrative, before a more traditional metal heaviness takes over. Lyrically it does reflect Poe's themes. They relax into a more jammy progression of atmosphere with more jazz infused drumming. The clean vocals at the end of the song could stand to sit back further in the mix rather than being so up front. They close the album with the 15 minute "These are Ashes , These Are Roots". I like the darker doom vibe they use here. Five minutes in the back off back into their more melodic style of playing, but with a darker vibe to it. They jamming that they build this into is pretty tasteful, doubt it will see the light of day on my iPod , but it is well done. Overall this album is pretty incredible and really sets the bar high for death metal to come so I will give it a 9.5 and see how it grows on me.

This was just released on Cimmerian Shade Records

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