In every way the death metal version of Anaal Nathrakh, this sophomore release from Australian riff louts, Werewolves, announces itself with a highly effective, yet, strangely, utterly relevant ‘1-2-3-4’. It is this intake of breath that wholly encapsulates the colossal, global nature of this record at a time when the title has never been more relevant. None of us chose when to drop onto this planet but, with hindsight, many would probably opt for some enclave of a lifespan other than this one.
Opener ‘I Don’t Like You’ sets the pace and, by the power of blastbeats, it’s a ripping one. Little heed is paid to boundaries as they are literally pummelled to within an inch of their life whilst the musicianship contained adheres tightly to utmost precision and barbaric dynamics. ‘Crushgasm’, ‘Traitors and Bastards’ and the thirst-quenchingly titled ‘Unfathomably Fucked’ stand out as they indefinitely hammer home the message that this is well and truly the sound of Werewolves in 2021.
Death metal, especially the brutal wing of the palace, can translate as a bit of a joke on occasions. Ironically, here, ‘What A Time To Be Alive’ is probably the most tongue-in-cheek jester in the room but the results are astoundingly relevant, excruciatingly poignant and capture the hopeless and apathetic despair that can wash over every one of us in this over-complicated world.
It’s not been a great time to be alive but, in a neck-crunching twist of fate, it is records like this that will keep us all upright.