Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Haste the Day: Attack of the Wolf King

Release Date: 29 June 2010
Genre: Christian Metalcore
Length: 38:25
Label: Solid State Records
Similar artists: Demon Hunter, Oh Sleeper, Destroy the Runner, Inhale Exhale
Rating: 4/5

A step into the past….

When Haste the Day tried to expand their sound on albums such as Pressure the Hinges and Dreamer, they seemed to end up making their music sound too simplistic and generic; and because of this a lot of their fans started to lose interest. However with Attack of the Wolf King, Haste the Day returned to their roots, using basic metalcore concepts and improving upon them with the band’s newfound musicianship. This is a result of various member changes that were made in the years leading up to this album’s release. In Attack of the Wolf King; raging guitars, combined with well executed choruses, tactically placed drums and face-thrashing double bass help to create an awesome album. Not to mention Stephen Keech’s vocals, which have come a long way since his debut with the group. With Attack of the Wolf King, Haste The Day are fuller, more diverse, and as ferocious as ever.

It saddens me to think that just as Haste the Day were beginning to reach a new peak in their potential, they disbanded. Attack of the Wolf King is a glorious tribute to a truly awesome band. The Christian-metal scene lost a truly significant band in March 2011. With that said let’s dive right in shall we?

I have to say that Keech's vocals in this album peak in "Un-Manifest." Long gone are the weak and flowery songs he attempted in Pressure the Hinges, and his skills at mid to low screams have really improved since the last album, becoming an entirely new level of menacing. Aside from the vocal improvement, Haste the Day also manages to create an atmosphere throughout the album that connects all of the songs together, giving Attack of the Wolf King a more cohesive feel than past efforts.

Another noteworthy feat, not only for the band but for any metalcore act, is successfully pulling off a slower, all singing song. “White as Snow” sounds like it came off of a Deftones album; it has a dark mood with beautiful, ambient guitar melodies that complement the vocals and add a much needed break from the intensity of the album.

With such a unique name as Attack of the Wolf King, it is no surprise to learn that it is a concept album. It tells of a herd of sheep protected from a pack of wolves by righteous lions. To open with "Wake Up the Sun," a group of individuals (the sheep) are running from an unnamed threat, but feel that their "hearts are empty." "We've tried to run, but it's no use and all this time we've reached the point of desperation." With "Dog Like Vultures" comes the arrival of the lions. "Our eyes are upon you and we will protect you, be assured no fang will breach your fleece." This story can be taken as a basic analogy of our weakness, and Jesus' willingness to protect us. In "Travesty," the sheep proclaim their praise to the lions, as we to our Savior, "With love that the blindest eyes will see, you cover the darkest part of me."

The Christian-metal scene has known few bands as tough as Haste the Day. Since the departure of their old lead singer Jimmy Ryan, they have taken a rough ride, a ride that most bands would not be able survive, but they soldiered on. Even when they struggled to find their sound, they kept the faith. The significance of Attack of the Wolf King is equivalent to the quality of the album, and though the sound that Haste the Day was conceived in has gone, their identity has stayed the same. Further still, by warping the different styles that their previous two albums have presented and adding in quite a few new features that come naturally with new personnel, Attack of the Wolf King is without a doubt a high for Haste the Day.
Forever in our hearts!

Song Of The Week goes to; “White As Snow”

Stay looney George Clooney


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