The sort-of-recent trend in metal has been trying to disgust and terrify listeners with sonic bombardment. Full of Hell and The Body already made that noticeable enough with their collaboration One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache (nicely reviewed by our own Simon Handmaker), and Author & Punisher did something close to this (albeit with a heavy industrial influence) with last year’s Melk En Honing. Today, however, I’d like to bring to the table a band that is arguably a forerunner of the “grosscore” sound that we love today: Wolf Eyes.
First off: Wolf Eyes has a huge discography. While they aren’t as prolific as, say, Merzbow, their catalog is dense enough that it can’t really be covered in this article. I will be focusing on their 2004 album Burned Mind, but definitely give their other albums a try if you find this slab of noise to be to your liking.
How to describe Wolf Eyes, though…
How about this: picture the end of the world—nuclear weapons have annihilated most life on the earth, leaving a desert populated by a few buildings and poisoned by radioactive soil. Skeletons are everywhere, most crying towards the sky, as if they were screaming at God before they were stricken down. The few people left have suffered severe burns from radiation and are forced to live in the darkness as their food supply dwindles. Now, take this picture and all the sounds and feelings that go with it and feed it through a DAW and add enough distortion to blow your speakers. You’ve now got an idea of what Wolf Eyes is like.
With track names like “Stabbed in the Face” and an album cover that depicts a crow feasting on a melted skull, you have to sort of expect one of the most noisy assaults on your eardrums that you can get. Wolf Eyes brings it, and you better be ready for it.