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Album Review: Dire Wolf - 'Black Death'

13 November 2015 | 11:52 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Grey core, in the best way.

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As you get older, you begin to lose patience with the hypocritical, the superfluous and the monotonously formulaic. That’s where artists like Dire Wolf come in. The simplicity of bands that just make good music, particularly those from Brisbane that play excellent, straight-up hardcore, is always welcome in a world where everything is complex, you’ve got 8000 things to do and no one else is telling the truth.

The band’s ‘Black Death’ EP kicks off with the similarly titled ‘Black Death Plague’, which initiates a hard, fast and dark introduction. The instrumentals are ominous and not necessarily polished, enabling Dire Wolf to build a sound that’s authentic but not hard to listen to. ‘Dead In the Dark’’s guitars are aggravated and persistent, with consistent tempo changes making for a great premonition of it being played live.

No More’’s riffage is dirty with stormy tones in its background that make its crunch sound dire. Those tracks aside, the clear winner on the EP is its last offering, ‘Holy Men’. The cut is invasive, even intimidating, in its beginning, dropping in Northlane-esque lines later on like ‘belief is the death of reason’. The religious theme is heavier than the EP’s sound, and its portrayal is twenty-seven times more hard-hitting than Thy Art Is Murder’s expression of it. Musically, the lack of drums in its initial instrumentals is effective but compensated for at the end, as the track’s ending beats hammer the nail into the EP’s metaphorical coffin close.

Like their song titles, Dire Wolf are dark, but the fact that this EP is so damn good is actually the light at the end of a long, long tunnel of bands that sound the same. The fusion of a metalcore/hardcore sound makes for a tight listen, albeit a gloomy one, that distinguishes Dire Wolf from (most of) the bands they play with. Their sound is honed in on, but not embellished or lacquered. Here's hoping it stays that way.

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1. Black Death Plague

2. Dead In The Dark

3. No More

4. Holy Men