Norway Wins Again
Fans of heavy music have long known that Norway is capable of producing some truly dark metal, but the newest release from Oslo’s Wolves Like Us, Black Soul Choir, proves that their rock wheelhouse is far broader. Citing influence from post-hardcore heavyweights Quicksand and Husker Du and clearly drawing from prog metal bands like Mastodon (and the sludgier Baroness), Wolves Like Us has developed a unique style of post-metal. With catchy drum beats, interesting and melodic guitar and bass riffs and clean, beautiful vocals with just enough edge to entice metal fans, Black Soul Choir is the record for those looking for something dark without all the screaming.
Black Soul Choir starts on an upbeat yet heavy note, starting your feet tapping and your head banging with the brief but powerful “Days of Ignorance.” There is a notable variety in the song styles on this record, such as short instrumental interludes. This is a technique often misused by bands, but tracks like “A Wish of Fools” work as their own individual pieces instead of only working in the context of the entire record. Wolves Like Us’ strong prog influence also shines through in “Your Word is Law,” which would fit neatly beside Mastodon’s Crack the Skye, while still holding its own different and engaging sound.
A record truly fit for the coldness of this past winter, Black Soul Choir is a truly enjoyable, while not altogether groundbreaking, addition to this year’s stacked list of heavy music releases. The ever-expanding world of post-metal and its cousin sub-genres is providing heavy music listeners with many exciting and interesting bands to explore. If they keep releasing records like this, Wolves Like Us has the potential to be a beloved and successful member of that family.