Once A Wolf

Advent EP

Written by: PP on 05/07/2011 03:32:12

One reviewer before me said that it took all of nine seconds of "Advent EP" for him to be sold on Once A Wolf. He's right. The opening track "Arms Race" shows such jaw-dropping technical ability and ear for maintaining a coherent structure that it makes it difficult to believe it is only their debut EP. It's like listening to Protest The Hero meddling with the progressive metal/metalcore behemoths Between The Buried And Me and finally bridging the gap between the two bands.

What "Advent" EP offers is brilliant technical ability, and overwhelmingly well-structured compositions that showcase the intellect behind the band. From blinding technical passages and sublime clean vocals to impressive guitar wizardry, guttural growls, exemplary sequencing and arrangement of polar-opposite passages of brutal and slick, Once A Wolf have something truly special if they handle it right in the future. Few bands I know are able to seamlessly combine progressive death metal, metalcore, progressive rock, and even jazz in places in the way that these guys do. Better yet: the songs are fairly catchy.

And that is currently the only stumbling stone between Once A Wolf and spectacular success. Whilst listening to the band shred to pieces all your preconceptions of any limitations in progressive rock is an enjoyable experience in its own right, the band has room for improvement before they can compete on even foot with BTBAM or PTH. That improvement has to happen by making their songs more like "Arms Race", where there are multiple sections that make the listener stop in their tracks because of their sheer brilliance. What also needs to happen is that the overall expression becomes more about writing songs that stick to the mind of listener in other ways than just "wow that is amazing in all kinds of technical terms I can't even begin to explain". Because that is what makes both Between The Buried And Me and Protest The Hero leaders in their respective genres: while they challenge your understanding of music to its outer limits in terms of mixing together unbelievable instrumentation, they also make sure that the listener is not lost in the maze of stop-start riffs and continuous tempo changes. That is not currently happening on "Advent" EP. But given that this is only a debut EP, it foreshadows an extremely bright and promising future for Once A Wolf.


Download: Arms Race
For the fans of: Between The Buried And Me, Protest The Hero
Listen: Soundcloud

Release date 06.02.2011

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