What happens when two-thirds of Australia’s The Antichrist Imperium and the drummer of Tasmania’s Psycroptic join forces to create extreme technical death metal with blackened tendencies? Fucking magic, that’s what! Melbourne’s Werewolves have just burst upon the international scene with the April 24th release of their debut full-length, The Dead Are Screaming, on Prosthetic Records; but while some death metal acts are content to cobble together lumps of colorless, rhythmic noise, slap some names on the audible bricks, and say it’s “brutal”, Werewolves, by contrast, are already redefining the term altogether with their mature, unmitigated severity of sound and their neoteric approach to the genre itself.
Conceived only last year, Werewolves are an immediate force to be reckoned with. Comprised of guitarist Matt Wilcock (The Antichrist Imperium, The Berzerker, ex-Akercocke), bassist/vocalist Sam Bean (The Antichrist Imperium, The Berzerker), and drummer David Haley (Psycroptic, Ruins, ex-Pestilence), Werewolves are the Australian equivalent of a supergroup, in essence – and the music contained upon The Dead Are Screaming is the glaring proof of their incalculable capability. Cunningly complex but easy enough to understand, exquisitely nuanced but as barbarous as a beatdown, and full-on addictive, the rhapsodies dreamed up by Werewolves are one-hundred percent high-quality compositions through and through.
Accordingly, The Dead Are Screaming is clearly the finest extreme death metal album released so far this year. While many other sites out there are drooling and swooning over the begrudgingly-heavy-but-summarily-banal Unmerciful release of the same day, make no bones about it, The Dead Are Screaming by Werewolves is the true jaw-dropping release of April 24th, 2020!
Intricately impregnated with subtlety and dash, every track on this phenomenal effort displays a level of sophistication that is uncommonly rare – and fully appreciated by those of us who are not satisfied with banality. Inexorably tumultuous and refreshingly original, The Dead Are Screaming is far more than some jejune “brutal death metal”: it is a mastery of the craft on full display for all to hear, plain and simple.
If forced to pick favorites, the finest selections on The Dead Are Screaming by Werewolves would be “Establish Dominance”, “Dogknotted” (the best!), “No More Heroes”, and “Beating Those We Despise”, but, to reiterate, this entire album is one big highlight, so, best advice would be to just start at track one and let this fucker rip ‘til the end of track nine! Guaranteed you won’t regret it! \m/
Rating: 10 / 10
Release Date: April 24th, 2020 (Prosthetic Records)
Influences and Contemporaries: Aborted, Cryptopsy, Origin, Dying Fetus, Psycroptic, Soreption, Hideous Divinity, Abnormality