Norwegian metal’s influence remains ever-present and ever-important. As a result, a band such as Oslo-based Wolves Like Us has a lot to live up to. On its debut, the band offers up a meaty, dense set of tracks, and although the clear point of comparison is hardcore, at times it sounds more like a typical metal sonic palette that’s being restrained. This creates an odd tension, especially given that the heavy, rumbly distortion throughout the record clashes oddly with the almost pop sensibility present on many of the songs. Though much of the album is heavy, in particular the satisfyingly punishing “Deathless”, other material on the album is more tuneful than heavy, as with the track “Secret Handshakes”. The band aims for a sort of melodic sound on the latter tracks, but the thick, grimy distortion that recalls Isis’ sludgier work sounds odd in light of that melodic structure. The band even diverts into longer, more progressive fare on the portentously titled “To Whore With Foreign Gods”, but that only ends up being uneven in comparison to the rest of the material of the record. Late Love is the sound of a band who knows how to rock, but just not in the right way.
// Notes from the Road
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