Saturday, 6 August 2011

Wolfcrusher - Virgin Tapestry

Casket Music / Copro 2011

1.Reborn 2.Skeletonizer 3.Lost At Sea 4.All Shall Pass 5.Insuperabilis 6.No Chance
7.Moving Mountains

Death metal with a touch of groove is where Wolfcrusher sit amongst the plethora of genres within extreme metal. First track ‘Reborn’ showcases the bands groove element alongside the melodic framework to which the track has been set. There is a great amount of variety to the opener, especially from the vocal department, with everything from guttural death metal vocals, to rasping black metal type vocals to sung ‘Fear Factory’ style vocals. Second track ‘Skeletonizer’ is very catchy, the bands melodic edge again used to great advantage, the chorus riff a fine example. Wolfcrusher obviously have a wide variety of influences as many of them are on show within this track, even dipping into metalcore style breakdowns – but don’t let that put you off, they retain an element of heavy death metal to them.
‘Lost at Sea’ shows another one of the bands influences, opening up with a doom rock feel, which feels totally out of place, as they mix the sung ‘rock’ passages with the rasping black metal style vocals and they just don’t sit comfortably together. The whole song feels out of place, losing the heavy, yet melodic death metal feel to the two previous tracks. ‘All Shall Pass’ feels even more out of place, very very melodic American style rock singing over acoustic guitars and soft drumming, very radio / Kerrang & Scuzz TV friendly – this track couldn’t be further away from the death metal shown on ‘Reborn’ and ‘Skeltonizer’ – very disappointing. Obviously aimed at the kids and the girlies, cos I’m sure hairy arsed death metallers like me will be cringing and have sick buckets at the ready!
 Normal service is resumed with ‘Insuperabilis’, a Pantera style groove opens up, the heaviness to the guitars brought back, the extreme vocals also brought back. A good start, but the tempo of the track lets it down, giving the track a doomier feel but ultimately leading the track nowhere. The pace is upped towards the end of the track, but by then it’s too late, interest has sadly been lost. ‘No Chance’ is another strange track, opening up with an AC/DC style guitar solo, the band choosing to mix things up again, doom rock sitting uncomfortably with rasping black metal style vocals, then adding spoken and sung passages for variety – a little too much variety! Wolfcrusher show moments of promise when they speed things up and get the double kick drums into action, but sadly this doesn’t happen very often. Final track 'Moving Mountains' ends the cd as it began, heavy groove orientated melodic death metal, a welcome relief from the ‘normality’ of tracks two to six. The production is good, when the guitars are playing death metal they are heavy. The drum sound is good as well, but they never really get going enough, the faster tempos few and far between. This CD is a strange beast and I know this won’t appeal to the majority of extreme metallers. Rock and metal fans may appreciate it more. A melting pot of influences which when mixed, don’t always work. If you’re like me and you like your metal EXTREME, stay away from this, if your open to suggestions, give it a spin, there may be some good you can find from it. Not extreme and not for everyone.
5.5 Out of 10

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