The Republic of Wolves
Why Would Anyone Want To Live This Long?


4.5
superb

Review

by Sowing STAFF
December 12th, 2023 | 96 replies


Release Date: 12/12/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another ace in the band's ever-growing legend.

It’s been nearly six years since shrine was released to critical acclaim, so naturally, the next chapter in The Republic of Wolves’ story has arrived without fanfare and entirely unannounced. The surprise release offers up seven new tracks that once again capture the band’s signature blend of dark alt-rock and atmospheric folk. Composed remotely, Why Would Anyone Want to Live This Long still manages to sound just as dynamic and polished as prior in-person efforts – so if it’s a The Republic of Wolves fix you’re seeking, then this EP promises to hit the spot.

Why Would Anyone Want to Live This Long wastes little time cutting to the chase, as ‘Lens’ barges down the door with imposing drums, fiery riffs, and some of The Republic of Wolves’ heaviest vocals. It seems to explode from silence, almost as if you tuned in during the middle of a massive, foreboding breakdown. The song’s only real shortcoming is its length, because at a succinct two minutes, it leaves you wanting even more of that intensity channeled directly into your ears – but as an intro track, it fucking goes. ‘Nightjar’ takes that raw aggression and harnesses it, with addicting chords setting the scene for a combination of Maggio’s melodic croons and Duprey’s screams. The controlled chaos is capped by a beautiful, intricate guitar solo that punctuates the piece with an element of splendor. ‘Veer’ is similar in terms of its overall makeup, thriving on the strength of the band’s soft-to-loud vocal tradeoffs while also featuring plenty of searing, blistering riffs. It all builds to an epic crescendo of a chorus, where the band can be heard chanting in unison “this can’t be real” – a statement that seems to snowball in urgency with each refrain.

If the first half of the EP brings the fire, then the second half is, at least comparatively, serene. The ambient ‘Idyll’ interlude serves as something of an intermission and dividing point, with its stunning atmosphere washing over you like a soul-cleansing dream – it’s the heavenly reflection to ‘Lens’s hell. ‘Sapphirine’ glides in on uplifting guitar notes which buoy one of the EP’s most memorable choruses; it’s a goldmine of infectious melody akin to what ‘Sundials’ brought to shrine. ‘Mictlantecutli’ causes a temporary disruption to the EP’s calmer back half thanks to its messy riffs, furious screams, and a foreboding climax that delivers the album’s namesake: “I’m apprentice to a ghost, I’m a gracious host…I’m the tide that never rose / Why would anyone want to live this long?” Followed by a chaotic breakdown, it’s a moment that reverberates and provides a jolt of energy to Why Would Anyone Want to Live This Long’s latter section. The pendulum swings back to the placid and melodic for the finale ‘Reedcutter’, which again dwells within the darkly introspective and existential: “…and this is how you die well / you make a pact with yourself, you try to grieve the hard nights / and then you take all of that expiring light / melt it down, forge a knife, kill time / then say you put up a good fight”. As the melody swells and Maggio’s vocals layer, it becomes the most moving sequence of Why Would Anyone Want to Live This Long – this burgeoning realization that most of our actions will, in hindsight, seem inconsequential against the backdrop of time’s unyielding march towards death.

Whereas past efforts dealt primarily in myths, legends, and shadows, Why Would Anyone Want to Live This Long feels very much rooted in the personal – feelings of hope and defeat coincide, all while attempting to make peace with, and extract meaning from, a bleak and transient existence. The Republic of Wolves seemingly weave together all of their trademark sounds into a tapestry that is satisfyingly harsh and melodic – a truly representative effort. Few artists can claim such a consistent and alluring catalog, and The Republic of Wolves are only solidifying their ever-growing legend with each release.




Recent reviews by this author
Bayside There Are Worse Things Than Being AliveAaron West and The Roaring Twenties In Lieu Of Flowers
Vampire Weekend Only God Was Above UsSum 41 Heaven :x: Hell
Wild Pink Strawberry EraserWaxahatchee Tigers Blood
user ratings (86)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sowing
Moderator
December 12th 2023


43941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It was tough to sit on this secret for a couple weeks, but surprise! What's not a surprise is how much this rules.

YoYoMancuso
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2023


18849 Comments


classic surprise December release that's bound to make me rethink my year-end list

Feather
December 12th 2023


10082 Comments


I am so excited to listen to this 4 times in a row on my flight today.

tyman128
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2023


4491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Time to fix my end of the year list again

artificialbox
December 12th 2023


1490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is good. gonna take a few listens at home on proper speakers to really sink in but I’m feelin real good about it. that aggression in the first track really caught me off guard in the best way possible.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2023


60207 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I remember Shrine having at least a couple of heaters, but this ain't quite hitting



is it me or could the closer have q plausibly been a Red b-side

GreyShadow
December 12th 2023


7029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh my FUCKING GOD

2 tracks in and i feel like my whole year has been invalidated

Sowing
Moderator
December 12th 2023


43941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah honestly it took me several spins to appreciate on the level that I do now (I've had this since November). My first spin I really just liked the opener and certain parts of songs, but it didn't really click completely until several listens later. I think earlier in the band's discog their stuff felt more immediate, but as they've become more seasoned their stuff has become a bit more nuanced.

GreyShadow
December 12th 2023


7029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the bridge to the end of veer, holy FUCK

Sowing
Moderator
December 12th 2023


43941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah that's one of my favorite parts along with the opener, Nightjar's guitar solo, and the swelling melody at the end of Reedcutter.

Feather
December 12th 2023


10082 Comments


"My first spin I really just liked the opener and certain parts of songs, but it didn't really click completely until several listens later."

Just completed my first spin and this is exactly how I am feeling. I can already tell it is going to GROW though.

RadioNew03
December 12th 2023


182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely some great stuff on this glad they’re back for sure the stand out track at the moment for me is Sapphirine. However something out there production/mixing also seems slightly muffled

ashcrash9
Contributing Reviewer
December 12th 2023


3344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I'm finding the mix kind of weird too. Hoping I'll get used to it and/or it'll matter less once I memorize these lyrics, since the vox are what seem especially buried save for a few clearer moments



the songwriting is great as always though, these guys don't miss there

Sowing
Moderator
December 12th 2023


43941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

When I spoke to the band about the release, they mentioned that the majority of it was completed remotely. Not sure if that has anything to do with the mixing/etc; I can't say I don't notice it at all but it has seemed less and less obvious to me the more I've listened (or maybe I've just gotten used to it 😂 )

GreyShadow
December 12th 2023


7029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Reedcutter is beautiful. Mictlantecutli (copy pasted) is huge. gimmie like a day or 2 but wow i just wanna slap the 4.5 on this now

Sowing
Moderator
December 12th 2023


43941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best part of Mictlantecutli for me is the ending when they shift gears and build up to that breakdown.



Reedcutter needed time but I absolutely love it now, and the lyrics are excellent.

Slex
December 13th 2023


16498 Comments


I'm not trying to be a downer and I'm excited to give this more spins but the mixing is ROUGH

Slinkinlip
December 13th 2023


37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just finished my first listen. Reedcutter is gorgeous and Sapphire has the instant hooks. So happy to have new music from an incredible band!

letsgofishing
December 13th 2023


1705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not huge on a lot of this but Reedcutter is an absolute accomplishment and a just stunningly beautiful poignant song. Veer has a lot going for it too. But, agree with the crowd that the mixing should be far better - Shrine sounded a lot better than this - and overall their songwriting has become a bit too monochrome and their melodies a tad too flat.



Going to be replaying Reedcutter a ton, though.

Sowing
Moderator
December 13th 2023


43941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The more I listen to this the more I think it might actually be one of their best works, at least purely from a songwriting perspective. I don't think the mixing problems are as pronounced as some people do, but I've also been listening to this nonstop for two weeks, so perhaps my ears have just assimilated because I remember thinking it sounded a tad muffled during my first couple spins. That aside: the guitar solos here are downright gorgeous, vocally they accessed a perfect blend between melody and intensity, and each song that isn't interlude-length (Lens, Idyll) builds to something impressive / has a worthwile payoff. Agreed that Reedcutter is probably the best song here, the final minute/minute and a half-ish in particular is just flawless.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy