Review Summary: Season Two unfortunately doesn't live up to the first
The one thing Blood Shore Season One
had going for it was that for the most part it allowed Xavier Wulf to do what he does best--sticking to that eerie production, introducing thoughtful sampling from time to time, allowing Wulf to flow over it while not overextending himself. Songs like "Episode 5: Wulfwood" and "Episode 1: No One is Safe" were two of his most accomplished tracks to date. Indeed, Wulf is at his strongest when delivering a mid-paced vocal attack with more of that blunt induced haziness that separates himself from other rappers of the same genre. Blood Shore Season Two
has inverted that formula in favor of an approach that is musically more hurried and lyrically more confrontational.
The transient keys of "Thunder Man" kicks the sequel off and are soon completed by a hi-hat led beat. One quickly notes the more aggressive tone Wulf has set out for this EP, as he spits verse after verse while not losing his tell-tale lyricism. The opener actually works out pretty well; the haunting keys provide enough background atmosphere to give the track a sense of weight and body. More often than not, Xavier's beat selection have been the least of his worries, yet with Blood Shore Season Two
the songs begin to sound a bit repetitive. Production credits being handled by Purpdogg, Misxgi, Goza Beats and others, this time around sound a bit stale and lifeless. Although one could argue that, that lifeless
sounding production, in terms of the almost horrorcore aesthetics, is what really put Xavier and his contemporaries on the musical landscape to begin with, like his work with Bones on ダサい
or his Raider Klan days with songs like "The Black Blood Alpha - Dark Destruction". The beats on the new EP all manage to play off that trilled cymbal work combined with lingering piano notes ad nauseam. "Pride Rock Wulf" has the most signature Wulf style beats but even it seems to go overboard with the sampled vocal loop. It might have served the song better if it was restrained or held back for interludes in between his verses, which are his most contemplative on this album. The former number and "Mobile Suit Woe" with its playful, lullaby-like beats are the last of the mid-paced tracks on the record as the remaining songs are faster with a more ferocious vocal delivery from Xavier.
"Red Tide" featuring another former Raider Klan member, Chris Travis could make the case for best number on the record. It succeeds where others fail because it juxtaposes Wulf's laid-back flow with Travis's higher pitched and more uptempo delivery. If anything can be said of Wulf's career so far is that he definitely works well with others, often coming off stronger lyrically and vocally. That's why it's a bit of a conundrum and equally unfortunate that he hasn't carried that presence off into his solo forays. Rounding out the record is a quite unexpected, purely instrumental track, "The Absence of Evidence, Isn't the Evidence of Absence". It's carefree and light. It samples The Killers, "Mr. Brightside" for a radio pop/rock instrumentation that is certainly different from the hyper-aggressive tone Wulf has set out throughout Blood Shore Season Two
's runtime but the question remains… why" Why did Wulf choose to end the album this way" Perhaps, this second entry into the Blood Shore series was just a sign of things to come, like Xavier himself said, "The Captain is never satisfied…" and will be dropping another 10 track album soon. Xavier is definitely full of potential and he usually comes to play with beats that are on point, however the sequel doesn't seem to build on what Blood Shore Season One
brought to the table.