Wolves Within Review

artist: After The Burial date: 07/23/2014 category: compact discs
After The Burial: Wolves Within
Released: Dec 17, 2013
Genre: Progressive Metal, Metalcore, Deathcore
Label: Sumerian Records
Number Of Tracks: 9
I always struggle with how to classify After The Burial exactly - they seem to flirt with hardcore, djent, metalcore, prog metal and all kinds of other metal sub-genres for brief forays. At the end of the day, they're a metal band and this album is worth a listen.
 Sound: 8
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
 Overall rating:
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reviews (2) 39 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.3
Wolves Within Featured review by: UG Team, on december 16, 2013
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Earlier this year, After The Burial began recording a new album after releasing their "This Life Is All We Have" EP. Their new album is being released on Sumerian Records, the same as their last 3 releases, and contains 9 tracks. The album has a total runtime just a few minutes shy of 40 minutes. In early November, the first "single" was released from the album, "A Wolf Amongst Ravens," via YouTube. This was soon followed by the second "single," "Of Fearful Men." The singles, taken independently from the rest of the album, show the band continuing in the direction they have been moving only without the previously present passages with clean vocals. There is also quite a bit more in the way of traditional melodic guitar solos. The album opens up with the track "Anti-Pattern," which the band has been playing live for most of 2013. I definitely prefer for a metal album to come out of the gates really screaming and I think that is what "Anti-Pattern" does for this album. "Of Fearful Men" is the next track on the album, and this was also the second single released from the album. This is a lot of good things going on with this track, not counting just some interesting guitar work and the weird little interlude, but a powerful drum performance and a very aggressive bass. The guitar solo alone makes "Of Fearful Men" a worthwhile track. "Pennyweight" has a very unique sound to it and a really awesome bass part. Fairly simple, but very powerful. I feel like if they were going to use any clean vocals on this album, this would have been the track where they really shone. The guitar tone is so much different on this track than the rest of the album that it really stands out. "Disconnect" starts out with an acoustic guitar playing an arpeggiated riff with an electric playing a Gilmour-ish lead line over it but this grows into a sound more closely identified with After The Burial pretty quickly. When we get to the guitar solo on this track, I'm hearing the band try to channel Gilmour a little bit again, but it works in the context of their song. "Nine Summers" vocal performance from the album are parts of this track. "Virga" is suffering from some intensely annoying drumming, though this may just be my own personal opinion, this drumming sounds overtly manipulated on this track. Otherwise this would have possibly been one of my favorite tracks on the album. It definitely contained one of my favorite guitar solos. "Neo Seoul" stands out with an intro that makes use of some heavily delayed clean guitar, but when the bass and distorted guitar come in they definitely change up the mood/vibe of the song. I found myself humming a guitar passage from this song for quite a while after my first few listens. "Parise" definitely has the most "schizophrenic" sounding guitar parts, and it is definitely an engaging track because of this. They were going for some kind of ambient thing with the solo on this one, which they do pull off for the most part, and then the solo is followed up by a weird little "funk" passage. The album closes out with the track "A Wolf Amongst Ravens," which is also the first single from the album. Oddly enough, this was probably one of my least favorite tracks from the album, but it does work to close out the album. // 8

Lyrics: Anthony Notarmaso joined After The Burial in 2008 and has made himself at home since that time. Anthony has quite a vocal range, though this isn't necessarily used to the greatest effect on "Wolves Within." There were moments from "In Dreams" where I found myself fairly impressed with Anthony's performance on the album, and while I can't find any complaints on this album, I also don't see anything to brag about. The lyrics are another story, as I found a lot of them to read like the poetry of a very articulate existentialist. As a sample of the lyrics, here are some of the lyrics from their single, "A Wolf Amongst Ravens": "Where do we begin/ When everything is wrong we just forget/ Move along and we play pretend/ Surround your life with silver and gold/ Your tinsel dreams and the make believe/ Deconstructed and paralyzed/ So slowly somehow I am evaporating/ We dream to be the lesser/ A malign separate existence/ We belittle ourselves to a lesser/ Being our dreams are not our dreams/ Cogitation a distant fragment/ Separate me from the whole/ My thoughts are now unchained/ And it seems that in everything/ We want isn't anything we need/ And all the signals/ We seem to have taken for granted/ We are lost, we are polluted/ Into the grey a wolf amongst ravens." // 7

Overall Impression: I find myself still waffling a little bit about my overall feelings about the album. There are definitely things to like and some very memorable riffs and solos. The vocals weren't really grabbing me - instead of adding value to the music they just seemed to be there. I can't fault the songwriting, but feel like the vocal performance was mediocre. I was impressed with how the bass was mixed, as you can actually hear it and it is doing its job, which is something a lot of new releases seem to be missing. The drums, even if they are real, sound programmed at times - I think they are live drums tracked by Dan Carle, but then "fixed" by the studio engineer or producer. The members that play stringed instruments - basically Justin, Trent and Lee - shone on this album, but Anthony and Dan didn't really give the same level of standout performance. Dan did have some strong moments, but something about the drums just didn't sit right with me, though I couldn't say for sure what it is. My favorite songs from the album are probably "Parise," "Nine Summers," "Neo Seoul," and "Pennyweight." // 7

- Brandon East (c) 2013

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overall: 8.7
Wolves Within Reviewed by: Gaptainkinu, on july 23, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Back in 2006 when I first heard "Forging a Future Self" by this band, I knew they had something. I listened to each album by this band and I became a bigger fan. And now after hearing their newest album, I am still a large fan. 

The first song "Anti-Pattern" has a strong opening for the album. The song is a very aggressive, which is good for the opening in my opinion. The second track "Of Fearful Men" really caught my ear, Anthony showcases his vocal range, and the guitar riffs are absolutely catchy, especially around the 1:26 mark. The guitar solo is very nice on here as well. "Pennyweight" the next song, really showcases the bassist which is nice to hear, it has a very unique sound. "Disconnect" has a very soft intro, but quickly picks up. The guitar riffs in this really hit my eardrums well. The next two songs are the weakest on the album in my opinion. "Nine Summers" has nice riffing and vocals, but it doesn't stand out like on the other tracks. It's sort of a bland song. "Virga" suffers the same downfalls in my opinion, while being the better of the two. "Neo Soul" Has a very soulful intro, very pleasant. And it remains throughout the whole song in the background, which is something I like. This song has a nice grove to it. "Parise" is a fast-moving track which then moves onto the After the Burial chaotic riffing. It has little calm moments in it, before moving back to the chaos. At around the 2:50 mark it goes to the calm sound before transferring into a jazzy guitar sound followed by a breakdown. And the final track "A Wolf Amongst Ravens" - this song has received a lot of heavy criticism, but I actually quite like this song. There isn't much string movement, but the grove in this song just makes you want to move, the vocals on this track are also very nice. I think this song is a very nice end to the album. 

Overall. I believe this album has a very strong sound, with one or two weak songs on it. The guitars are very technical, and are still very catchy. Anthony did an amazing job on vocals, it carries passion with it. Which is lacking in a lot of -core bands now. // 8

Lyrics: Lyrics are something I very much love. And in death-core there isn't much vocabulary being put into the lyrics. After the Burial however, like the UG review stated is almost poetic with their lyrics which are at times heartfelt as well. Here are some lyrics pulled from songs that I found very interesting.

"I am a shadow slipping into the abyss/A part of me that will never leave\Just to remind me of who I have grown to be\Pulling me side to side\It won't forget me." - "Anti-Pattern"

"We bend and twist/From distant ends/Waves crash together blind without warning/A great deluge/Envelop everything/And all that's lost was taken." - "Of Fearful Men"

"Pull me in, and help me out (of this hemisphere)/I want to swim amidst the satellites/Sinking to the bottom. I exhale/Close my eyes- Disengage Here/ There is no there." - "Pennyweight"

"But we are just a perception of a common theme/We are something more/
I pretend I am better/I disconnect." - "Disconnect"

"Those nine summers we burned together/Were disparate and beautiful/
Strange our thoughts can take us/And I can still feel the warmth
Coursing through lungs/ Escaping in my thoughts." - "Nine Summers"

"Distracted by imperfection we are covered in rust/Hopeless and distant/ we sway side to side/From season to season/ we fall apart
So hold this in your hand. And don't let go/These are the things that we live for." - "Neo Soul"

"My eyes illuminate against the glass/Abstaining focal shifts to palindrome lines Mimic expression/ Translucent model of progression/
I look out, escape is granted/ Free myself Unresponsive - a mechanic I work inline/Scanning faces I learn the nothingness inside/
A binary heart beat/ A digital visionary." - "Parise"

And I love all of the lyrics from the song "A Wolf Amongst Ravens." The lyrics on this album were not just scribbled down to make some sales. These were thought-out, and from the heart. There aren't curse words every other verse, unlike many -core bands now, so when they are used they have a larger impact. Anthony has a great harsh vocal range, and he uses it well. He is another instrument. // 9

Overall Impression: Compared to a lot of other bands in their scene, After the burial keeps it a few notches above the rest. Personally I keep coming back to it and I've enjoyed it immensely. What I loved about this album was the overall groove it had. It had a great vibe coming off of it, and it has variety. Not every song sounds the same, but also not too different keeping a general sound to the album (not in a generic way). The only thing I can think of that others may hate about this album is that it starts off -very- strong, and sort of "Mellows" by the end. The opening 3 tracks grab you by the balls, while the last 3 tracks relax you and the lyrics are more thought provoking. 

The most impressive songs from this album for me are "Of Fearful Men," "Pennyweight," "Neo Soul," "Parise," "Anti-Pattern." If it were stolen I would repurchase it without thinking twice. // 9

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