A horrible hack

Battle Of Wolf 359

The Death Of Affect

Year Released: 2009
Format: LP
Label: React With Protest
Reviewed by Oli Saunders on Jul 13, 2009
This album didn't actually click with me straight away I must admit after months of looking forward to it, which I find very strange in hindsight. I think I was in a weird mood or something when I first heard it. To be fair I had just encountered two days of non stop screamo in Germany, the finale of which was Shikari who make most bands look average and left me in awe, plus a distinct lack of sleep. Anyway, forgot all this, after seeing the band play last night and listening to it today I am back on board for fanboy praise. I got all excited in a review of Battle Of Wolf's split with Kaddish last year so expect the same again here. If you want raging and passionate DIY music then look no further, the style is a mixture of the insanely intense Bremen school of hardcore from the 90s and the slightly newer generation of screamo / emoviolence that came after it. Somehow the band have managed to create their own niche in the middle of this. React With Protest describe it as "Systral or Shikari meets To Dream Of Autumn or Welcome The Plague". That's along the right lines for sure. You can definitely see elements of Narwhal in there too in the guitar playing, whom the band have an ex member of.

Things get going very nicely with the first track 'Martyr O.D.' and from then on there are 23 minutes of pummeling hardcore with occasional bits of melody but only to lull you into false security before the next onslaught. The dual vocals are killer with the two guitars, bass and drums creating the perfect atmosphere around them. I still think 'Neptune's Navy' from the Kaddish split is my favourite song of theirs, but there is a lot of competition here, including 'Cyberdine' and 'Surveiller'. Three of the songs on the LP have appeared on previous small run releases (either the demo or tour CDrs) but here the guitar sound is a fair bit different. The band are best for me during the ferocious parts when both vocalists are just going for it, this is certainly true when they play live too. The lyrics are pretty abstract and confusing to me, definite science fiction worship going on though, combined with some political messages.

Overall, I am totally into this and you won't see a better LP of this kind of thing for some time - a pretty damn good lesson on how to make harsh but great music.

13th July 2009
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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