Review Summary: Despite its fundamental flaws, Wolf to Man still manages to be a worthwhile album.Wolf to Man
is an excellent example of an album trying to do too much, too fast. On the one hand you have a foray of melodious Iron Maiden-esque solos that pull you into their serenade every time they take to the front of the stage; on the other you have said solos struggling like hell to get out of the cacophonous cluster the rest of the music presents. Making a consistent mood here would be impossible – the long buffet table of styles has no semblance of order, hearing all these ideas mushed together into one blaring racket. The biggest crux is most certainly its bizarre production choices. There’s no breathing room for anything on here, and while the guitar solos are the saving grace of Wolf to Man
they don’t quite sit right in the mix over the chaotic explosions around them. “The Damned,” for example, is a jarring mesh of melodic death metal, post-hardcore and thrash being ground to bits with the same kind of subtlety, elegance and grace a shotgun blast to the ear would have. It’s not that the song is dull or bad either – far from it – it's that it comes across as a blind dive into everything at dizzying breakneck speeds without actually sitting back to assess if a little restraint could be had – or a few ideas reined in for certain things to deliver in more effective ways.
Sometimes Nightrage taps into something fantastic – certainly on a track like “Desensitized” with its opening verse of hardcore-tinged vocals and driving distorted bass, segueing into catchy melodic guitar passages and then finally finishing off with a couple of strong solos – but as a whole it’s quite a frustrating album because there’s so much potential to be had here. I was never bored listening to Wolf to Man
, but equally, it was an overwhelming listen at times, too. The band have taken baby steps in terms of progression, but they’re irrefutably positive ones, to be sure. I can’t emphasis enough just how engaging the guitar leads are on this thing and it seems the band are fully aware of such strengths. For the most part the rest of the instruments here serve as a vehicle for vocals and the guitar duo, but when both parties do such a great job of holding your interest it’s plain to see why they went down this route. Overall, if you like melodic death metal with a twist you should get a great deal of enjoyment out of this, it’s just unfortunate that the album’s production and some of the band’s overly ambitious ideas fail to meet the record’s highlights.
SPECIAL EDITION: N/A
ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: http://nightrage.tictail.com