To Speak Of Wolves
New Bones
(Cardigan Records)

Four year since their last release, hardcore act To Speak Of Wolves reveal that they have more emotional eruptions to sizzle listeners ears with. Find Your Worth, Come Home bled through piercing vocals, commanding drum lines and break neck pacing, with New Bones continuing much of the same recipe.

The EP starts with the blisteringly furious “Ok, I’ll Be Apart Of This World.” The guitars are ripping through the mix with a bit of a sludgy presence, but it’s the vocals that help tie the whole thing together. The screams keep the energy rolling between the intricately woven drum patterns, finding the balance between melody and visceral punches often. This is a notion that resides across New Bones, having tracks that know how to escalate (like the bridge breakdown of the opener) and resolve quite peacefully; evidenced by the chorus of the titular track “New Bones.” Rightfully, this track is the highlight of the record. It’s the perfect blend of aggression and serenity, possessing a driving pace thanks to the snapping drums, but the chorus contrasts in its vocal delivery with everything else that it sticks out, ingraining in one’s head and staying there. Often times when listening New Bones I would always come back to this track. It’s perfectly executed, possessing the right tone, energy and catharsis while maintaining that delicate chorus to hum and sing along with.

“What The Wind Reaps” is another perfect example of a band able to create a distinctive dichotomy in their tone. The opening verse is a break neck assault that charges head on into a giant hook, letting things breathe as Gage Speas soars in the chorus. The voice is unique, possessing such a biting difference from the screams that it makes the moment transcend the rest of the song’s beatdown, honing the listeners ears in on the infectious chorus. It’s this aura of To Speak Of Wolves that veterans of the scene (Norma Jean, Every Time I Die, The Devil Wears Prada) have mastered, allowing the appeal of the music to hit home in a genuine and unique manner.

To Speak Of Wolves have always been able to wrap their heads around melodies, crafting an entire song that rid of the screaming on their debut record. Here, the band triumphs that same idea with the emotional “Phantom Limb.” Screaming is almost entirely non-existent, letting the guitars breathe with their own tangible sentiment for the vocals to blend with vivid lyrics, “I can’t keep holding my breathe again, I can’t keep losing the thought of it. It’s not what’s meant to be, I’m tearing at the seams. Take what’s left of me, and bury it too deep.” The grasp of Gage Speas has always been the way he has managed to dig deeper to find an extra way to be relatable, even when screaming through inaudible lyrical lines, like on closer “Pegasus Project.” And what a closer it is. It’s a song that quickly spins through discontent to wander alone in a clever, albeit overused, screamed verse/sung chorus pattern. The bellowing bridge of the song features spiraling drums and potentially the most interesting clean vocals across the EP, only to be ridden with urgent cries from Speas’ vocal chords.

New Bones is a fresh to the ears EP from a band that has been a bit stagnant as of late — simply because of the amount of years between their two releases. Yet, both releases pack a seismic crash of hardcore music standing its own ground. To be honest, To Speak Of Wolves have always had that quality, rising through the ranks, a lone wolf honed in on its goal, and that’s to release cathartic music for people to find a relatable experience. New Bones may only be six songs, but they are the best six songs To Speak Of Wolves could write to show their worth.

Purchase New Bones here.

4-stars

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