Album Review: Of Wolves – Balance (Trepanation Recordings)

A raw heavy blend of punk & metal from stoner doom to hardcore. This devastatingly intense form of crusty sludge is what Of Wolves consider therapy. The songs deal with subjects like disillusionment, social injustice, politics, religion & are directly in touch with the world around them. Their latest album, Balance was released on July 4th 2020 via Trepanation Recordings.

 

 

Drawing deeply from the well of hardcore and punk with opener MENS REA (IZAGUF), the rawness is what immediately stands out. Increasing in ferocity and tempo as it goes on, things get down-right wild and very filthy sounding.

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JESUS JIHAD then brings a drawling guitar tone and vocals that are desperate sounding, layered with a middle Eastern female voice too. It’s risky as hell but the burst of speed that crops up helps ground it in quality. MAKER follows that with a punchy groove and belligerent blast of hardcore passion before Of Wolves spit out 17 seconds of viciousness with FLAVOR OF THE WEAK.

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Showing off their variety, the title track and the following CLEAR CUTTING/BLOODSHED/HEART TO HAND deliver two epics. The former, a blend of dark and slow moodiness and manic outbursts of noise. The vocals are utter throat shredding in their power. The latter is a much thicker and crustier listen, no hanging about and going hell for leather. Only losing its intensity for a warbly and ringing slice of melody that begins to increase in threat as it goes on. It’s an unusual shift, but Of Wolves are capable of making it work.

Although when they’re just kicking ass with the likes of KILLING SPREE, which is punky as hell, and INSIDE (Steve’s Head), which is chaos and madness personified, it’s a blast. The sound of a band hanging on to control by the skin of their teeth.

Finally, a damn fine record wraps up with a cover. A cover of Misfits’ DIE, DIE (My Darling) where admittedly, the original recording is barely visible. Of Wolves certainly make it their own and it’s certainly a version few will ever have heard before.

Of Wolves – Balance Full Track Listing:

1. MENS REA (IZAGUF)
2. JESUS JIHAD
3. MAKER
4. FLAVOR OF THE WEAK
5. BALANCE
6. CLEAR CUTTING/BLOODSHED/HEART TO HAND
7. KILLING SPREE
8. INSIDE (Steve’s Head)
9. DIE, DIE (My Darling)




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Of Wolves - Balance (Trepanation Recordings)
  • The Final Score - 8.5/10
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