Written by Chrisy
Release Date: December 3rd, 2021
Metalcore from Austria
The saying always goes – “do not bite the hand that feeds” but, what happens when it isn’t who or what you’re feeding. And the what is that you’re Feeding The Wolves. Do you become the Protagonist for offering forth your hand? Or are you the Antagonist for pulling away?
“Antagonist” is the debut album from Austria’s Metalcore up-and-comers, Feeding The Wolves. The 12-song album was molded with assistance from Italian producer Fabio D’Amore (Serenity), and mixed by the talented Staffan Karlsson (Arch Enemy, Meshuggah), and mastered by Mika Jussila (Children of Bodom, Lordi). The young pups of the Metalcore community offer up that ‘variety is key’ with their songs switching between tones, atmosphere, and tempo to provide ambitious, and unrepetitive tracks to feed your angry or emo-side.
Feeding The Wolves, as a slogan, is rounded up into “playing what you love” as they choose not to hold themselves to the standards of the general Metalcore industry and have, instead, chosen to pave their own road forward.
From start to finish, there is a fine bit of definition in the way Feeding The Wolves expresses themselves. At the beginning of “Breaking Point” we hear the familiar tone of a high-pitched guitar and so begins the chaotic dance of harsh vocals, distorted riffs, and slamming drums. It gets your blood pumping, and the body swaying to the music. It’s perfectly timed, and everyone is well in tune with one another musically, making their sound a bit more manageable than that of the usual heavy distortion and madness in other Metalcore bands.
“Trapped In Hope” follows on the heels of the album’s introduction to kick things into a higher gear. It’s head-bang worthy, with harsh vocals that drop ever so slightly in the reminiscent tune of bands like Alexisonfire with an angrier set of vocal cords. It’s followed by the more popular, “Void” that has the same effect that makes it both familiar and easy to listen to. The echo of background vocals is a nice touch, adding a gentle aura to an otherwise heavier tone. It’s catchy, rhythmically, and keeps you going back for seconds.
“Insomniac” nears the midway point of the album with a beginning of acoustics and light-heartedness but, mismatched with dark undertones. Lyrics like “I am the prey. I am the restless,” are relatable on the heels of numbness and near madness that results in spiraling drum work, lingering guitar strings, and thick bass holds. The highs and lows musically and lyrically turn this song into a storyline that’s both sorrowful and addictive, allowing it easily to haunt my mind and become my favourite track from the album.
Tracks like “Heretic” and “Gone With The Wind” are more upbeat but, keep the pacing solid and offer a maelstrom of vocals and guitars but, without disturbing atmospheric rhythms. While there’s no Angelic Soprano in the bunch, the four-piece band works in the best of their ability, pushing boundaries of choir-like backing vocals without making a mess of them.
“Burn” is complete and utter chaos. It’s a calamity of speed and depth with growls, speedy drums, and high-pitched guitars that ring out into the night. The chorus seems to result in a pull-back with a drop that simply never happens, and I’d hoped the chaotic intro would’ve continued throughout the entire track but, alas, it did not. Closer to the end, we get a sampling of what the drop off could be, and I hope that it’s better utilized in the future, as the potential is there and it’s quite limitless.
The final track “Rotten From Disease” brings us a title worthy of Cannibal Corpse but, provides a gentle approach to what we would’ve assumed was a Death Metal circle pit. Instead, it’s a pleasant mix of eclectic guitar work accompanied by skillful drums, intense bass and powerful vocals. It’s a tornado of tone, and ever-changing tempo that somehow always ends up matching up with impeccable timing.
The Bottom Line
The album, in its entirety offers up a good mix of reminiscent Metalcore, as well as new samplings from a band eager to make a name for themselves. With tones and atmosphere similar to bands like Linkin Park and Alexisonfire and accompanied by smart lyrics and vocal capabilities matching that of Bring Me The Horizon there is no cloud that could limit this band’s reach into the sky. There is a deep passion here, and a willingness not only to try but, to succeed. Combined with the ability to switch beats, drop rhythm, and expand vocal range, Feeding The Wolves will go beyond biting the hand that feeds, they’ll chew it to the bone. Favourite tracks: Insomniac and Void.