Metalcore isn’t a genre you’ll often find me excited about. Both new records from As I Lay Dying Dying and War of Ages didn’t impress me much. All the second tier metalcore bands haven’t really found favor in my eyes the past couple of years. Haste the Day isn’t a band I’ve been impressed with since Jimmy Ryan left and even When Everything Falls I didn’t care too much for.
Attack of the Wolf King see almost a completely revamped Haste the Day, with only bassist Michael Martin Murphey as the remaining founding member. But it seems to have brought a fresh perspective to the band.
Wake the Sun kicks the album off right. It’s hard hitting and while mildly formulaic, it’s not uninteresting and it’s really good. Dogs Like Vultures is a little more on the melodic scale but still retaining their heaviness. Travesty is the best Haste the Day song ever in my opinion. It hits on all the right notes. The melodies are infectious, the hook is catchy and it’s still a heavy song. Merit For Sadness, Un-Manifest, and The Place Most Deny all ring as really heavy songs and really harken back to Burning Bridges and old school Haste the Day. White As Snow is a ballad I probably could’ve done without because it ruins the feel the album has. Their could’ve been a slow ballad on the record that didn’t seem to interfere with the flow. But it’s quickly forgotten as Crush Resistance kicks things back into high gear. The albums closer, My Name is Darkness, seems to be too much like something I’ve heard from Underoath more then once. A slow building guitar and drone into a heavy hook. It’s well done and a good track but it seems too contrived.
Overall, Attack of the Wolf King is better then anything I’ve heard Haste the Day release since Burning Bridges. The clean vocals have never sounding as crisp and on point and Stephen Keech’s vocals are great. The first couple of tracks on AOTWK remind me of Killswitch Engage, which is not a bad comparison. It’s the best metalcore record I’ve heard since An Ocean Between Us. There a couple of flawed moments on Attack of the Wolf King but not enough to make me not love it.