Werewolves – What A Time To Be Alive (Prosthetic Records)
Werewolves are brutally honest about their brutal music. “As the BPM goes up, the IQ goes down,” says bassist/vocalist Sam Bean. He even admits to having “radioactive piss” during Sublime Wartime Voyeurism.
The Aussie trio aren’t going to weave sweet melodies into songs like Crushgasm and Unfathomably Fucked, that’s for sure.
And Antisocial isn’t exactly a flowery foray into the progosphere.
So, yes, the band’s second opus is a roaring chainsaw of serrated, blood splattered deathgrind, akin to Cattle Decapitation at their most devastating.
And Werewolves have certainly maintained the intensity levels since their 2019 debut, The Dead Are Screaming. You probably wouldn’t expect anything less of a band with members of Psycroptic and The Berzerker in their ranks, but even so, A Plague On All Your Houses and I Don’t Like You, blaze with a startling misanthropy that will mercilessly pound your bones into paste.
That’s not to say What A Time To Be Alive is completely one dimensional, however.
With Dave Hayley’s inhuman kitwork to back them up, these lycanthropes can mix up their rhythmic barrages to keep you on your toes: the incendiary Traitors and Bastards is a case in point, flinging you from wall to wall in a melee of thunderous double kicks and vicious blastbeats.
And on album closer They Will Pay With Their Own Blood, the Melbourne boys dramatically shift through the gears from a blackened, mid-paced war march to Norsecore blasts, peppering us with riffs worthy of Abbath in the process. It’s a surprise. And it’s a welcome one.
Indeed, by playing down the supernatural intelligence at work in their scorching delivery, Werewolves may be doing themselves a disservice…
What A Time To Be Alive may be fun, but it sure ain’t dumb.