Wolf King – Loyal to the Soil (Review)

Wolf KingWolf King are a blackened hardcore band from the US and this is their debut album.

Ahh, this is precisely the kind of adrenaline shot you need when…well, whenever really. With the dark, invigorating energy that comes off this thing in waves you could power one of the cities of Hell, I’m sure.

Wolf King specialise in dark, violent hardcore, powered by aggression and coated with a blackened veneer. A multifaceted monster, Loyal to the Soil has a lot to offer adherents of extremity, and definitely shouldn’t be considered a one dimensional release.

At 43 minutes in length the album is a bit longer than is usual for a release like this. This is largely due to the packed content a lot of the songs have. Blackened hardcore is a fitting description for Wolf King’s style, but it also doesn’t do the band’s actual brutal prowess enough justice. Each of these songs is a finely crafted killing machine, and after all, not all deaths have to be quick.

The singer’s ascerbic screams are piercing and distinctive. I also really, really like the unexpected inclusion of deathgrowls here and there. This latter style is not the standard mode of attack; they appear frequently enough to be notable, but not too frequently as to lose their impact. Very nice.

Like a less sludgy Wildspeaker, I could easily imagine Wolf King appealing to fans of Darkthrone just as much as fans of Converge. In fact, combining these two bands – essentially updating Darkthrone’s grooving assault with contemporary hardcore influences – is a good starting point for thinking about Wolf King’s sound, although it doesn’t really tell the whole story. Another idea would be to think of Wildspeaker once more and cross them with Trap Them. Again, however, it misses part of Wolf King’s delivery. As mentioned above; the band have a lot to offer on Loyal to the Soil, and it’s best to just experience their visceral attack for yourself, preferably at loud volume.

Loyal to the Soil will remain in regular rotation on my playlists for some time. It’s a damn fine record, one which should be heard by any fan of dark, heavy, aggressive music.

4 thoughts on “Wolf King – Loyal to the Soil (Review)”

  1. I love this band. It fills the hole left by Trap Them and Cursed for me. They’re not the same as those bands of course, but they’ve captured that certain something I love. Nice write-up!

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