Review: Buried Voices – Relentless Wolves
Written by Brett Kihlmire
Coming from the southern United States, Buried Voices returns with their second full length album Relentless Wolves. Straddling the line between rock and metal, this album crosses the line between the two distinctions more than once and with a nice touch of horror.
The album kicks off with ‘Make Friends with a Murderer.” Opening with some melodic guitars I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but then that gnarly riff kicked in. Things quickly got heavier when the vocalist snarled his way onto the front stage only to fade into the background for a few seconds. The cawing of crows gives a nice touch atmosphere, but the real meat of this track is the grungy vocal style, alternative rock style leads, and tight rhythms. All in all, this track sets up the album with a nice mix of grunge, hard rock, and nu metal.
‘Speak Low’ starts out with the rhythmic tapping of the cymbals, bass drum, and snare. It’s a light start, but things get good when the snarly riff kicks in, and gets even better once Brian Owens returns with a passionate display of his vocal abilities. A relatively radio friendly tune, this one doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a solid tune. Hard rock fans will really dig this one. What I really like is the subtle horror-inspired lyrics I’m hearing so far.
‘I Remember Being Killed’ is the first big hitter of the album. Heavy guitars, background growls, and pained lead vocals recalling one’s own murder really gives this album some grit. It’s not quite a mosh-worthy tune, but it will get your head bobbing and is sure to get the band plenty of cheers when played live. I really liked the inclusion of harsh vocals. It really gave the song a harder edge and reminded me a bit of Damageplan, especially with the riffs and the melodic leads late in the track.
‘A Kind of Shadow’ returns to the band’s melodic side. The atmosphere is established by the howling of wolves and the wailing of the clean guitar. The chug of the bass and the sharp licks really catch my ear, but I’m mostly drawn to Owens’ performance. His voice is simply addictive. It’s got enough apathy and emotion to really make the lyrics pop. And then there’s the growls – these are clearly the voice of a killer and they really drive the point home and lend some serious horror credit. What makes this track all the sweeter is that awesome but short guitar solo. That was a nice change of pace and a sweet surprise.
A short but sweet track, ‘If You Think I’m Crazy Now…’ is the oddity of the album. It’s got a nice uptick in speed and has a bit of rockabilly flare to it. Despite being just under two minutes long I can’t enough of this track, but that’s the psychobilly in me. I can’t quite put it my finger on what really speaks to me here. Maybe it’s the hard hitting drums, the southern rock vocal style, or it’s just the rockin’ riffs. You know what? It’s everything. This is the feel good track of the album and it really speaks to you, especially if you have an appreciation for rockabilly, country, or psychobilly.
After the fun, southern rock feel of ‘If You Think I’m Crazy Now…’ you’re greeted with a punch in the face with a metal fist courtesy of ‘Black Jackal.’ This one is easily the heaviest on the album with its charging rhythms, pounding drums, especially that double bass, and a duality of harsh growls and clean vocals. I can honestly say that this album has kept me on my toes and I love it. I just wish these last two tracks for a minute or two longer.
After a solid mix of head thumping metal, good clean rock, and even a tad bit of southern rock thrown in for good measure, Buried Voices brings the album to an end with ‘Architect of Last Goodbyes.’ This instrumental track wraps things up nicely with an easy going melodic style. It’s one of those tunes that you could clear your head or even meditate to, so don’t expect one last ass kicking. Regardless, this is a great track and ends thing on a high note.
Relentless Wolves is the second album by these South Carolina natives and it’s one hell of an album. Blending grunge, metal, horror, and even a little rockabilly, Buried Voices have made a solid second album that you’ll want to check out for sure. 8/10