posted on 8/2007 By:
Based on the cover alone, I had high hopes Florida’s Evergreen Terrace and their fourth proper album (At Our Worst and Writers Block not included), their first for Metal Blade, even more so considering their second effort, Burned Alive By Time was one of the first metalcore records I ever reviewed. Alas, Wolfbiker is no more than a commercial, poppy, edgy -enough-for-the-kids, rocky, marketed for the masses metalcore record. Well at least it doesn’t have the suddenly popular Southern elements…
After misleadingly caustic opener/intro “Bad Energy Troll”, second track “High Tide or No Tide” pretty much encapsulates this album, as they go further from their early Poison The Well worship; stern breakdown, catchy clean chorus, pained screams and a more rock based approach to hardcore. The title track follows suit with an even catchier chorus, heavier breakdown and even more painful screams from Andrew Carey and such, but three songs into the album and I’ve heard it all before.
The punkish gallop of “Chaney Can't Quite Riff Like Helmet's Page Hamilton” reeks of a single/video combo and is sure to be a sure-fire live hit with its rousing chorus, but truthfully it almost sounds like a different band than the first three tracks (and the punk returns for "Rolling Thunder Mental Illness"). Then there’s a sort of uber melodic Killing the Dream/With Honor style burst of melodic metalcore mixed with Misery Signals like shimmer by way of “Where There Is Fire We Will Carry Gasoline”, (a mix that again appears for "To The First Baptist Church of Jacksonville") and it's then you realize Evergreen Terrace are simply a by the number modern metalcore act who are content to ape others of their genre and be done with it.
In itself, well done metalcore that has no originality generally doesn’t bother me (Means, It Prevails, Nodes of Ranvier, Inked In Blood, War of Ages, etc), but on Wolfbiker the simple mish mash of all the genre’s bigger bands wrapped in a by the numbers, built for MTV and the mainstream ("The Damned"), but with a hint of faux metal bite (“Rip This!") is just too flat to appreciate. Wolfbiker, above and beyond its scene satisfying shifts (the pop/emo jaunt of “Starter”), just lacks emotion, character and depth--and that’s from someone who like metalcore. To their credit though, the band doesn't seem to take themselves to seriously and have lots of energy while seeming to have fun and actually rather honored to be on Metal Blade.
I’m not sure what Metal Blade saw in this act to lure them from Eulogy/Indianola, which truthfully is a better fit, as I’ve heard way better metalcore this year as well as way better punk, better hardcore, better screamo and way better rock--all bases which Evergreen Terrace frantically tries to cover in Wolfbiker’s brief 34 minutes-and fails.
Register to post comments.