Wolves Like Us
Black Soul Choir


3.5
great

Review

by Mark A. USER (51 Reviews)
August 11th, 2014 | 23 replies


Release Date: 03/04/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Wolves Like Us would like the listener to sink into the abyss with them, and most will enjoy the descent as much as I did.

Post hardcore as a genre has strayed quite a bit away from its excellent roots in the '90's. Wolves Like Us take that older style of post hardcore and inject new life into it, creating an album that is as instrumentally interesting as it is lyrically hard-hitting. Black Soul Choir is as bleak as one would expect it to be by its title, but Wolves Like Us interweave giant choruses with the depressive mood that pervades the whole album, creating a juxtaposition that wouldn't ordinarily work so naturally.

The most interesting thing about Black Soul Choir is how immediately engaging the music is. At first listen, there is plenty of melodic choruses, simplistic guitar sections, and inoffensive lyrics that should propel them into popularity. However, as the listener delves deeper into the album, the dark atmosphere becomes more insistent and debilitating. It could be considered polarizing if it weren't so inherently important in understanding the nature of the album itself; Wolves Like Us are creating music that is dark and depressing without succumbing to the general pitfalls of aggressive bands that attempt to convey these feelings of anger. Thunderous bass and driving drums provide the skeleton of all the songs present on Black Soul Choir, and the guitar swoops in to simply add atmospheric intricacies. This formula of the songwriting is indeed the most important piece to the puzzle that is Wolves Like Us, as it is what gives the band such a unique identity. It could not be any more prevalent than it is in the song "Thanatos Wins Again", an almost eight minute epic closer that shows off the best aspects of the band. It is slow-burning, taking its time winding through interesting drum fills and spacious (but still massively distorted) guitar lines. The tempo changes are both subtle and exciting, and the most interesting thing about this particular song is that it flows so effortlessly every second of it seems necessary to craft the monolithic atmosphere. Vocalist Larsh Kristensen howls like a man wounded one too many times, and his lyrics on cuts like "I Don't Need to be Forgiven" display a sardonic bitterness that is incredibly easy to relate to. The pain is palpable here, and the authenticity simply can't be questioned.

Dark and dreary, deep and depressing; all of these adjectives can be applied to Wolves Like Us' newest offering without a doubt. Surprisingly, even though that may be the case, there are also a few others that can be indisputably utilized: strength and perseverance. For all of the dark lyricism, there are just as many instances of Kristensen shedding the anger and coming to full-blown realizations, which gives Black Soul Choir a much more honest feel to it that albums that tackle some of the same subject matter. While the sound of the band isn't hard to get into at all, it also has a very familiar feel to it throughout the whole album. It could be honestly stated that if you don't care for the short opener "Days of Ignorance", then this music may not be for you. It simply doesn't deviate from a central sound; while that is good for the continuity of Black Soul Choir as a whole, it doesn't allow listeners to casually enjoy several tracks and not others. As it stands, this is deeply personal album that many listeners will be able to relate to while still enjoying the melodic and catchy aspects of the music. Wolves Like Us would like the listener to sink into the abyss with them, and most will enjoy the descent as much as I did.



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Chart.
3.3
great
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Greg Fisher STAFF (3.8)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
thelastsignal
August 11th 2014


1370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Originally posted here: http://thesonicsensory.com/2014/04/03/wolves-like-us-black-soul-choir/

Feedback would be awesome as always.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2014


6015 Comments


Excellent review my friend, that should go without saying. Really liked your summary/last sentence as well, seems to encapsulate your review very well. I'm super jealous of how you can write such concise, three paragraph reviews. I think I've only written one three paragraph review in my life, don't know how you do it so well.

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

thelastsignal
August 11th 2014


1370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Judio, appreciate it man. Yeah, I mean I think it's just how my mind is wired when I write about music. I like some in-depth reviews (yours, oranges, and klap's come to mind off the bat), as they are interesting and provide more insight. I think I just enjoy cutting off the fat because I have a tendency to write in unnecessarily flowery language.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2014


6015 Comments


Ah alright, cool that your mind works like that. I sometimes feel like my reviews are overly-long but I always have a problem cutting stuff that I don't see at essential to the review. In any case, I'll try to learn something from your reviews and make mine more concise in the future.

thelastsignal
August 11th 2014


1370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool, man; it's always fun to experiment with slightly different styles of writing, so let me know if you end up trying to write a shorter review. My only advice is to initially choose an album that you don't have much to say about (or an EP) to write a review on, and then you can go from there.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2014


6015 Comments


Will do, I'll definitely give it a shot.

laughingman22
August 11th 2014


1727 Comments


cool review

Digging: Throbbing Gristle - Part 2: The Endless Not

thelastsignal
August 11th 2014


1370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, dude! I appreciate it. You heard this?

laughingman22
August 11th 2014


1727 Comments


nah, post hardcore is scary genre tag for me, never quite sure what I will get out of it

thelastsignal
August 11th 2014


1370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's more riff-driven melodic rock than anything, to be honest. No screaming or breakdowns in this release, so you could potentially enjoy it (if you're afraid of the heavier side, that is).

ExplosiveOranges
August 11th 2014


2829 Comments


Great review as always, Mark! I envy your ability to review so many new albums in such a short period of time.

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

thelastsignal
August 11th 2014


1370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude, haven't really been doing that until this year. With a glut of promos, it was pretty easy for me to just focus on stuff from 2014. I have plans to review about four in the next weeks, so we shall see how that works out lol.

ExplosiveOranges
August 11th 2014


2829 Comments


Hmm. Promos?

thelastsignal
August 11th 2014


1370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

From The Sonic Sensory (in addition to other unsavory measures that I resort to sometimes lol).

ExplosiveOranges
August 11th 2014


2829 Comments


Ah. Figures. I've still been conflicted over whether or not to join.

thelastsignal
August 11th 2014


1370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Understandable, dude. If you have any qualms, just let me know.

ExplosiveOranges
August 11th 2014


2829 Comments


Thanks, man. You think I'd dig this one?

thelastsignal
August 11th 2014


1370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I def think it's worth a shot. I like it quite a bit.

ScuroFantasma
August 12th 2014


1929 Comments


Always a pleasure to read your reviews sig, POS'd. Might need to check this, from what you've written I think I might dig this.

Digging: Eluveitie - Origins

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2014


19790 Comments


Great stuff Mark, definitely enjoyed the review! One small think I noticed you're missing the word "is" at the end of the first sentence In paragraph 2 ;)

Digging: Spectral Lore - III



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