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Den Of Wolves Feast On Metal WIth Debut Release LOVESDEAD

Heavy, grinding, as well as melodic and atmospheric, Den Of Wolves’ debut album Lovesdead is a feast for listeners’ ears.

Proving, once again, that Charlotte and the Carolinas are graced with a plethora of diverse and highly talented bands, Den Of Wolves’ debut release Lovesdead catapults them into the spotlight of the region’s metal scene. With district metalcore time signatures, aggressive vocals, and a surprising dose of melody and artistic atmospheric breaks in the metal onslaught, Lovesdead makes for a compelling and immersive listen.

Comprised of brothers Tristan England (bass, vocals) and Khalil England (guitar) with Savien Davis on drums, Den of Wolves isn’t your average metalcore band. Yes, they deal heavily in the requisite odd time signatures that often define the genre, but the heavy, almost sludgy, riff-grind that propels the majority of the songs on Lovesdead distinguish them from amongst the pack (no pun intended) of currently recording and emerging metalcore bands nationwide.

This should come as no surprise as Khalil
describes their sound as “heavy alternative with hardcore punk influences.” The melodic breaks in the album’s excellent opening track “Bermuda” play extremely well off the song’s hardcore influences, solidifying Khalil’s “heavy alternative” definition of Den of Wolves’ sound. It creates a welcome open atmosphere that allows the song to breathe, which actually makes the song sound even harder when the thick riffs hit. Den of Wolves have mastered, and taken to a whole deeper and heavier level, the loud/quiet dynamic that propelled many 90s grunge bands’ unique brand of sound.

“Panic” is another example of Den of Wolves’ self styled sound. A smooth, yet again thick and sludgy, melodic riff opens the song and quickly evolves into a crushing metal-core riff. Tristan’s vocals follow the pattern and lend their own emphasis to the loud/quiet dynamic by morphing from clean to aggressive along with the riffs. This might seem like an obvious observation, but Den of Wolves make better use of this technique better than most by slowing the whole process down and allowing the music to simmer, instead of boil over, until just the right moment. Even more effectively though, sometimes the simmering riffs never reach a boil. They remain a heavy soup of sound that has a different, yet no less cathartic, effect on the listener. It’s all heavy buildup with a dubious release that leaves the listener ready for more…and the next track.

The next immediate track on the album, “Anarchaic,” a short 1 minute and 49 second instrumental, provides that explosive emotional release after a few moments of inspired atmospheric riffing, pummelling the listener with an explosive riff barrage.

“Newfoundmadness” showcases all of Den of Wolves’ strengths in the same track. It sports a powerful metal-core grind that creates a solid bedrock for Tristan’s aggressive vocals, which gives way to heavy melody allowing for his vocals to wax clean, and back again. A spotlight on the rhythm section creates a surprisingly effective outtro to the song that distinguishes the track from amongst the others on the album.

“Gluttony,” speeds the album up a bit rhythmically. The song’s 5 minute and 27 second run time allows the band to develop an even better showcase of the seemingly disparate aspects of their sound than “Newfoundmadness” does. It’s a powerful song and perfect example of everything that’s great about Den of Wolves’ sound.

Den of Wolves’ debut album clocks in at a scant 39 minutes, but feels longer. In this case that’s a good thing. There’s plenty for the listener’s ears to feast on here. Lovesdead will leave you full, yet hungry for more.


Garner, NC
Skylark Social Club

(images courtesy of Den of Wolves facebook)

Carolina's based writer/journalist Andy Frisk love music, and writing, and when he gets to intermingle the two he feels most alive. Covering concerts and albums by both local and national acts, Andy strives to make the world a better place and prove Gen X really can still save the world.

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