Wolf King
The Path of Wrath

“Come up front! You’re going to do it later anyway! Just do it now!” This was the beckon of Wolf King’s frontman Tim Wilson when I saw his band open for Conjurer, Entheos, and Rivers of Nihil. I did not answer this call. Well, at least not favorably. See, I’m about 5’6”, was sitting at a table drinking a beer in a venue with my then girlfriend (who fell asleep during Rivers of Nihil) and was never really a pit guy anyway.

This is not the fault of Wolf King. In fact, I quite enjoyed their performance, already owned their lone full length at the time Loyal to the Soil, bought a shirt and a copy of their ep. Forgive me, guys?

Anyway, this brings us to their new album, The Path of Wrath, which is one of my most anticipated of the year. Will it live up to the hype? Will I make my intro another paragraph longer? Most importantly, where the hell do babies come from?

So, how long does it take your head to get moving? About 1 minute into the first proper track, which is track 2, “Messenger of Death.” Before that riff, it’s fast-paced riffing with a punk backbeat, then that riff takes over, we have some guitar squeals, then some deep vocals trading off with the highs. It’s always a good thing when one can point out that the vocals, guitars, and drums stand out on a track. They do here. That very first riff returns with about a minute left, too. It’s already clear this band has evolved.

It becomes even clearer with their next track, which is a touch over 6 minutes, called “Wandering Soul.” This is a well written track as it goes from a punk beat, to death metal, to black metal all within the first couple of minutes. A little over 3 minutes in, you can hear the bass for a few moments before the guitars take it back over. It’s a little long with the fade out, but still one fine performance.

Moving forward, the title track, “The Path of Wrath” is #7. A short track at well under 3 minutes, I don’t feel it represents the album as a whole since there’s no experimenting here, just a quick shot to the chops and on its way to the best track on the album in my opinion (which is absolutely always right).

Perfectly lead into by the previous, the next song “Incantation” could possibly be mistaken for an ode to the band of the same name at first with the fuzzy intro. When the vocals and the main riff kick in, though, it’s clear that it isn’t. A quick lead around 2 minutes in leads back into what could be called the chorus, as it’s definitely the main vocal hook. That hooks hits one more time with about a minute left, then the track fades out for the rest of that time. Stellar!

The final track is the longest one (I might have mentioned before that I am not a big fan of when bands do this). “Eternal Hunger” is its name. It has the feelings of a long intro, but that’s not really the case as the vocals start at 30 seconds in. For the most part, this track is a bit slower of a tempo, but uses the guitars to build an atmosphere, whether with the riffing or in isolation, as they do with over 2 minutes left. The rest of the instruments join the guitars and keep with the same riff until the track fades out. Unfortunately, from my view, it ends the album on a bit of a downer.

That just adds to the one issue I have with the album: It’s over 50 minutes long, BUT… It is sometimes death metal, sometimes hardcore, sometimes punk, sometimes d-beat, sometimes black metal. It’s heavy, frequently breathtaking, and almost always enthralling. I adore it. You need to get off your ass (or just go to the Bandcamp page while still on said ass) and purchase it now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
March 17th, 2021


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