Strong debut with fresh take on old musical ideas
A welcome surprise among the current crop of new bands, Indiana's Wolftooth are off to a rock solid start on this independent debut (since released on CD by Blackseed Records, and on vinyl by Cursed Tongue). Ambitious but not flashy, the band offers a modern take on classic heavy riffage, comfortably landing somewhere between the ambitious heaviness of Mastodon and the simple, catchy groove sense of Clutch. The focus is generally on the almighty riff, but Wolftooth spice things up with the odd bit of harmonized guitar work inherited from Thin Lizzy. Vocals are competent but come across a tad monotone, partly due to some kind of effect (what, I'm not sure) that seems to have been used heavily on them throughout the album. The snare drum also sometimes comes across as overly processed in a way I can't quite articulate. However, those are pretty much my only complaints on what is generally a solid release. There are fairly well-crafted melodic hooks on some songs, like "The Huntress," but again, the primary attraction here is riffage (with "White Mountain" offering perhaps the best specimen thereof, in my opinion). A band to keep an eye on, and sure to be a hit on any even vaguely doom or stoner-leaning festival bill. In such an environment, I can definitely see them bringing the house down.
Recommended for fans of: Mastodon, Clutch, Thin Lizzy, non-lethargic doom