Project 86
Sheep Among Wolves


5.0
classic

Review

by riffariffic7 USER (26 Reviews)
August 6th, 2020 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An extraordinarily underrated gem from a magnificent band firing on all cylinders. One of the finest records of 2017.

Upon entry, Sheep Among Wolves immediately ignites in ferocious, awe-inspiring fashion with "MHS", a truly sensational opening cut that perfectly foreshadows the deeply-engaging experience ahead. This opener is virtually unrelenting in delivery, settling down for mere moments before the explosive final chorus. "Dead Man's Switch" keeps up this momentum and features an undeniably catchy pre-chorus with the repeated line "feed the engine vein". Following these fiery pair of opening tracks, "Imaginary Me" and "Freebooter" offer just enough breathing room with slightly subdued instrumentals and quieter vocal melodies before once more engaging in frenetic choruses. "Freebooter" is a contender for the finest song among this well-rounded collection, along with "Dead Man's Switch", though "Copper Wish" is most definitely a challenger.

Running at a brisk thirty-five minutes, "unrelenting", one of the words spoken during the chorus for "Dead Man's Switch", is the perfect description for this supremely outstanding blast of post-hardcore bliss. Rolling back to the aforementioned "Copper Wish", this starts off with a cathartic acoustic guitar section, along with a sobering and extremely affecting vocal performance from Andrew Schwab (who is absolutely on-point throughout the duration of this record), leading later into one of the best guitar-solos across the album. Quietly haunting with its lyrical content, especially lines like "we drain the water with the babes to flee the scene of our mistakes", this excellent sixth track is wholly inspired and breathtakingly magnetic. A definite standout on this record of consistently compelling cuts. Similarly rollicking songs such as "Into Another" and "The Great Escape" provide the perfect climax to this rocker of an album from Project 86.

"Metempsychosis" is the closer for this record. Penultimate track, "The Great Escape", fades perfectly into this ghostly finale, which benefits from a bravely restrained instrumental section that brilliantly molds a supernatural-feeling atmosphere. Deeply powerful stuff. This was a thoroughly-satisfying album from front-to-back. With excellent musicianship across the board from these extremely-talented gentlemen, Sheep Among Wolves stands out as one of the band's greatest accomplishments. A magnificently underappreciated record.



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user ratings (16)
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
riffariffic7
August 6th 2020


617 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The six cave-dwelling morons that rated this album a 2 should be ashamed of themselves.

Thibs
August 6th 2020


2781 Comments


hmm. a project 86 review in 2020. used to listen to these guys in high school. how does this compare to older albums?

riffariffic7
August 6th 2020


617 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's hard to top the first-two, though I'd have to revisit some of their other records, this one genuinely shocked me. The production here alone makes it top-notch. I kept thinking of The Dillinger Escape Plan's first record, Calculating Infinity, while listening this; another easy 5 out of 5 classic. A song like "Dead Man's Switch" or "Freebooter" should let you know if you'll like this or not. However, if you're a fan of older Project 86, you'll probably absolutely love this (because it was a damn-near decade since I last listened to these guys).

MrGlass
August 6th 2020


391 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

edited this comment because my retort was a bit harsh on the band‘s effort here. I may not be a fan of this album, but I agree that Project 86 is a severely underrated, mostly consistent band and people should check them out for some unique hard rock with excellent lyrics.

riffariffic7
August 6th 2020


617 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I guess I was too harsh with the "cave-dwelling morons" part of that comment, obviously I don't know any of these people personally, but I shouldn't have said that. Obviously I'm not going to re-edit it, because I'd rather people see the screw-up on my end, but I do apologize for that horrendous generalization. I love hearing your thoughts on this album too, MrGlass. Maybe when I revisit this album I'll feel differently about it. Right now, I absolutely love it, and find it hard to understand why others wouldn't ("Opinions". Right?), though I most definitely respect your take on it.

MrGlass
August 6th 2020


391 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

haha I was expecting a much different reply than that - thank you for being open to difference of opinion. I don't really want to dissuade you from enjoying the album, because clearly there was something here you really responded to. Project 86 is a tough band for me to analyze because I have such sentimental ties to their earlier albums, but I do think they’ve creatively stagnated a bit. I feel like their strength has always been in Andrew's sharp lyrics/delivery and the ominous, mysterious, dark edge present in some of their earlier albums. This album feels lethargic and by-the-numbers in comparison. Just lacks memorability for me, and I think the overproduction here sucks out a lot of the impact too.



I will say, though. This band ALWAYS delivers live. I'll never miss a show if I can.

riffariffic7
August 6th 2020


617 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'd love to see these guys live someday. What's your favorite album from these guys? Mine's caught between the self-titled and Drawing Black Lines records.

MrGlass
August 6th 2020


391 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

You definitely should!



I'm gonna go with Songs to Burn Your Bridges By, and Drawing Black Lines as a close second.

IleftyspankedU
August 6th 2020


762 Comments


Might be the most mature disagreement I’ve ever seen here

Lucman
August 6th 2020


4723 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Eh, gonna have to disagree with this one. Never been that big of a fan of this band anyway so take my rating with a grain of salt.

Digging: Carissa's Wierd - Ugly But Honest: 1996-1999

William21
August 7th 2020


554 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh wow, someone actually reviewed this.



This isn't among my top P86 records, but I gotta admit I don't entirely get why the rating average is as low as it is, especially compared to the rest of their discography. But whatever. Regardless, this is still one of the very most criminally overlooked bands ever.

riffariffic7
August 7th 2020


617 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haha. Happy to finally break the ice. What's your favorite song from this album?

parksungjoon
August 7th 2020


21675 Comments


never heard of this band should i try this album

William21
August 7th 2020


554 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@riffariffic7: Either By Constantine or Freebooter



@parksungjoon: Start with Drawing Black Lines, that's considered their best album by most

riffariffic7
August 7th 2020


617 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm leaning more into "Freebooter" the more I listen to this album. I agree with William, parksungjoon, Drawing Black Lines is the perfect spot to start with Project 86.

Crxmateo
August 7th 2020


30 Comments


Wait someone reviewed a P86 album from a few years ago in 2020? Wasn't expecting that😂

Digging: Tallah - Matriphagy

riffariffic7
August 7th 2020


617 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Stuff happens when you party hardly lol.



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