Saturday, 3 January 2015

When We Were Wolves - Heartless EP


It's been a busy 2015 already and we're only 3 days in! That said, I'm still catching up with a tonne of releases from 2014 that I haven't written about yet, so expect reviews of both old and new stuff over the coming weeks. Right now and sticking with the Welsh theme, I'm moving South and checking out the 2014 EP by When We Were Wolves. 

When We Were Wolves have been around since 2011 and released their first EP, The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same, the following year. The EP garnered national praise amongst the music press and allowed them to share the stage with the likes of Born Of Osiris, Devil Sold His Soul and local boys The Blackout. Not wanting to rest of their laurels, they released this EP a year later and also completed a UK tour to support it.

Tracklist:-

1. Dying On The Inside
2. The Devil You Know
3. Blind
4. Confession
5. Heartless

Heartless is filled with modern metal, laced with thrash and hardcore. Opener Dying On The Inside treads a well trodden path in terms of musicality but one that sounds very accomplished with it. The clean vocals are a strong aspect of When We Were Wolves’ music for me. Their song-writing is good and they make a decent impact on first listen.

When they move in a more melodic direction, they really begin to stand out. The Devil You Know starts with a great guitar intro before it switches to off-kilter hardcore. That clean singing again lifts the song and is obviously a key element in WWWW’s sound. There are definite similarities to bands like Soilwork and Killswitch Engage within Heartless, which is no bad comparison at all. The other obvious influence is the post-hardcore sound that was nurtured in Wales thanks to The Blackout and more so Funeral For A Friend.

Blind contains more off-kilter textures and highlights the band’s heavier and more urgent side. It’s a more straight-forward metal sound but the extra pace gives it tonnes of bite and energy. The good production job gives the recording more zip and presence too. Their garage continues on Confession, which is similar in approach and structure to Blind. The added melodic guitar gives it more variation and keeps momentum high.

Heartless flies by surprisingly quickly and before you know it the title-track is bringing it to an end. WWWW choose to leave their most epic song until the end, which proves a good decision. The overall performance on Heartless is very assured and measured. There’s no histrionics and the vocals during the song really standout, as is the whole song really. 


Good metal/hardcore played well is a simple thing to ask for, but it rarely exceeds your expectations a lot of the time. I wasn’t sure what expect from When We Were Wolves but on Heartless, they’ve got it right and I’d go as far to say that they’ve put some more established bands to shame. It’s no surprise that they’re getting the attention they are doing.

You can get Heartless digitally from all the usual outlets, including Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. Physical CDs and other merch can be found here - http://whenwewerewolves.bigcartel.com

When We Were Wolves Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/whenwewerewolves1

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