Whale & The Wolf get up close enough to whisper with a sneakily subtle yet scintillating lead in, before they kick the fucking door down with a steel toe capped boot of a chorus.
The track begins with a creepy crawly shudder of a bass riff that sends static shocks that stand your hair on end. The unwary listener is all goosebumps and anxiety and as the vocals and skin splitting drumbeat finally join the fray the building dread only intensifies.
We get the tease of an explosive release as a skeletal run across the guitar strings sends another shiver up the spine. The vocals continue to build in power dancing in the electricity of the anticipation.
Then the floor of the track drops out and the chorus kicks in with a righteous multi story falling stomp that sends seismic shockwaves. The vocals are gorgeous. The guitar is ferocious. The timing and tightness of the orchestration spins on a pin.
This chorus hits harder than a Mortal Kombat uppercut. It’s hardlined into your veins and it leaves you feeling giddy from the trip. It’s a headrush that takes you back to that first high, the first time you heard a rock track that just shoved it’s fingers into your chest cavity and got your heartbeat pumping at double time.
“You got me fiending for that first high
But the feelings not the same”
Lyrically, the song explores themes of addiction and the mental health issues at the root of it. It’s deliciously well written and dripping in the blood and tears that penned it. Not predictable at all with enough curve balls in word choice and structure to keep you utterly hooked on every word.
The vocals remind me of Claudio Sanchez (Coheed and Cambria) at his most majestic. Melodically it isn’t afraid to truly soar but when it comes time for war it plants both feet firmly on the floor to let out a bellowing roar.
You can hear how good Whale & The Wolf would be live; it’s got riffs that could topple Godzilla. It’s a monstrously huge sound.
If ‘veins’ is just a little taste, we’re already hooked and can’t wait to shoot up another hit.
Words by Matt Miles