So Valentine’s Day…not the most metal of holidays, but one that still exists, and one that few hitched individuals can escape, myself included. Fortunately, my wife is pretty laid back about the whole event, at least from what I can tell. Last year I got her Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, and granted, I could be setting myself up for an amazing episode of Dateline, but it felt like a success. This year we did dinner. The restaurant was called Travail, go there if you haven’t, just for the experience. We were seated at a table with 3 other couples and over the course of the next 2.5 hours, there were 18 different tastings, one of which was Pop Rocks in liquid nitrogen. Somewhere in the middle of the meal, my wife asked me how many kinds of metal there actually were, her tone implying doubt that there could be more than one. As I tried to process her question, most likely gracing a “WTF?” look on my face, trying not to make a scene in public, and remembering I had exchanged vows with this woman, Show Me The Wolves popped into my head.
The World They Took Over is an album hard to categorize, other than the fact that it’s so honest and gorgeous in the way that slightly blackened, dirty sludge radiates beauty. It’s what I believe to be the second release from Iceland’s sole-membered Show Me The Wolves and it’s literally all over the place, while at the same time, reflects a single narrative. Opening with erie synths worthy of Twin Peaks charm, the album immediately begins to ascend into a sludge-driven chaotic opus smattered with progressive undertones, wicked synths, blast beats, complex dirty melodies, and even subtle splashes of post-hardcore and grunge, which, based on my youth, are what most likely pulled me in the most. So far this year, I’ve felt a stronger gravitation to albums of this sort…not exactly black-and-white in their genre classification. It also makes for a fine exhibit in explaining to the non-metal people of our world (the majority), or in this case my wife, how vast the landscape of metal truly is. Unfortunately though, these explanations typically fall on deaf ears outside of our metal walls, but then again, isn’t that exactly what we want?