To the Wolves - Death & the Company You Keep
Record Label: None
Release Date: November 5, 2007
By the time I’d read the track listing and saw “Robot Killers,” I was hooked.
Also, by the time I’d read the track listing, the CD was almost over. It’s an art to say what you’ve got to say in under 20 minutes, and it’s not always a pretty picture. For every Circle Jerks ingrained into our collective consciousness, there are also 40 or 50 forgettable basement bands playing the exact same chords, so it’s important when making the world’s shortest sets to get shit going immediately. If I knew how to do that myself, this review would already be over, and your life would be completely changed.
As Death & the Company You Keep churned on and I found myself 12 minutes older and all the wiser, I came to realize there’s a pretty specific reason why I was convulsing, and that would be the body-rattling tightness of To the Wolves’ sound. For every snare hit or cymbal ding, there’s a correspondingly rhythmic guitar chug so the result is a machine both intimidating and groovy. It boils down to great execution and articulation, and the listener just gets a sense right off the bat that this would be an awesome live band.
Even though highlighting moments from a 12 minute CD is kind of like cutting a stick of gum into pieces with a fork and knife, the closer “Rain Runs Red” has got to be mentioned for its intense energy, and just completely spastic introduction – that’s the kind of shit Meshugah would see in their nightmares. “BloodWings” – although the cheesiest title for a song outside of Avenged Sevenfold – stood the hair on the back of my neck just from the creepiness of its chord progression. You get my drift – the style is as frightening as it is heavy, and it sounds like it was created after ingesting lethal amounts of Jane Doe.
Lately, it’s not hard to get fed up with the metal scene, since the stream of phony bands seems to be pretty much limitless. There’s always another dollar or two to be rung out from the same songs in a different key (however far down the band feels like tuning), so you’ve got to really pay attention when you find a winner. And if it only takes 12 minutes to make me proclaim that you’ve come to ward off all the poser bands – you’re doing a pretty good job.