Review Summary: A young band in the scene, with influence from one of the most popular bands in hardcore music today.
To Speak Of Wolves are a newer metalcore band from Greensboro, North Carolina. They have two releases with this full length being their latest, with which they signed to Solid State Records. The band’s vocalist on this album, Rick Jacobs, is no longer with the band. However, the band has Phil (Spencer of Underoath
fame’s brother) on drums, with the rest of the members being former members of touring bands within the scene. The band has little to no recognition almost everywhere, and I hope this review can shine some light on them, on this site at the very least.
The first thing you will notice when you start up this record is that the influences are apparent right away. However, the band adds little parts like an atmospheric clean section or an unexpected uproar of screaming and chaos to the music to really make it worth listening to. And this works. It really does. Somehow, the band’s mix of heavy parts with soaring choruses and clean sections seems, dare I say it, unique. If you are big fan of Underoath
, and I have to mention this, you WILL notice uncanny similarities. This does make the band a lot more appealing to fans of them, but I do hope they can grow out of it and make more of their own sound on a future release.
The album flows very well, with everything kicking things off with driving drums and awesome screaming. As I mentioned before, they no longer have this vocalist, which is a shame because Rick is a very good vocalist. He really is the star of this record because of his, simply put, fantastic performance. At points I found myself in awe of his seemingly out of nowhere vocal hi-jinks. Just One Last Time
sees him at his best, using his vocals, both harsh and clean, to really make the song with a catchy and uplifting chorus and pounding verses. The vocals also go very well with the guitarists chugs and melodies, which are pretty cool but not too special overall. The drumming really drives the music throughout most of the album and its not surprising given his brother’s talents. Most of the album is pretty similar, but the formula is extremely effective for every song. On every song’s chorus the vocalist uses his singing voice in different ways, and it makes the album a lot less repetitive. This is one of the band’s strongest traits on this album.
Towards the end of the album we have the song Quercus Alba
. This song is, well, a bit different than most of the album. The song mostly consists of cleans over little instrumentation, until the middle hits where the whole band comes in and it is simply awe inspiring. Screaming and catchy cleans over epic piano and guitar is what makes this the best song on the record. The next song is one of the heaviest and also another highlight with it’s driving, heavy metal sound. The outro is awesome with it’s pounding drum beat and cleans/screams over fast guitar. The last song, Nothing Ever Ends
, is an extremely fitting end to the album. It takes everything they were aiming for and mixes it all together. The song slowly burns away towards the end, culminating in an epic outro with the entire band pulling out all the stops.
A young band in the scene, with influence from one of the most popular bands in hardcore music today. They have a lot of potential, and I really hope more people will start to see it. If you have a chance, check this album out; even if you are just a fan of one of my recommendations, you will find something to enjoy. Until their next release, this is a nice addition to the current hardcore landscape.