To Speak of Wolves (*New-CD) 2017 Solid State
- New Factory Sealed CD
- Jewel Case
To Speak of Wolves' comeback album revels in controlled chaos. Dead in the Shadow is the metalcore band's first full-length in five years and is also the band's return to Solid State Records, following a very solid EP released by Cardigan Records in 2016. That collection, titled New Bones, showed a lot of promise for To Speak of Wolves, but Dead in the Shadow fails to follow through on that promise, instead offering a frustrating mixture of styles and influences that invite comparisons to dozens of other bands.
Album opener "Haunt Me" is one of the album's brightest moments: a grand display of the aforementioned "controlled chaos." Recalling aspects of Underoath's Define the Great Line, "Haunt Me" is catchy in its heaviness, without relying on conventional choruses or melodies. The Underoath comparison isn't particularly random, either; the band's sole remaining founding member is Phil Chamberlain, brother of Underoath's frontman Spencer Chamberlain. Elsewhere, "Deathbed Chimes" is amusingly similar to Norma Jean's "Deathbed Atheist." (To be fair, Wolves had an album opener titled "Hivemind" a year before Norma Jean opened an album with "Hive Minds.") There's a fascinating similarity between those three Solid State acts: all of them built notoriety off their debut albums, only to unexpectedly lose their frontmen. Each band replaced its frontman successfully, and few fans seem to point to any of those debuts as their respective best works. However, in many regards, To Speak of Wolves is still trying to live up to the reputation of its second album, and first with frontman Gage Speas, 2012's Find Your Worth, Come Home.
- Haunt Me (3:43)
- I Had to Let Go (3:15)
- Scapeson (2:43)
- Enemies to Everyone (3:34)
- Deathbed Chimes (3:23)
- Adrift Again (0:35)
- The Impaler (3:30)
- Braided Bay (2:53)
- Ashes Over My Eyes (3:34)
- Touch (4:18)
- I Am the Shovel / I Am the Grave (4:18)
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