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Written By Wolves - Album Review: Secrets

07 Nov 2019 // A review by Steve Shyu
It’s no secret. Written by Wolves have been hard at work for the past two years on their debut, full-length album. In between conquering thousands of live audiences, headlining and opening for arguably the biggest names in modern hard rock, the multi-instrumentalist quintet have been jamming and recording, and the unmissable album Secrets is out NOW.

Against the high benchmark set with every single and EP created by Written by Wolves, they’ve made bold, new statement: We’re only just getting started. Each band member has brought their best efforts to the table, pitching in on every track. Clear additions can be heard from everyone, with all layers of sound serving a purpose in moving each song along and hammering it home.

There’s the soaring, octave-weaving lead vocals from Michael; on every tune he changes between cooing in perfect falsetto to belting out the boldest chorus refrains. As though to prove he’s more than just pop hooks, Mike adds in the sharpest screams where it hits the hardest, as heard on Let It Burn, as well as the album’s namesake track Secrets. Mike’s harsh vocals have never sounded so good.

There’s also rhythm and lead guitars which are shared between Davie and Bahador adding energy and grit, thrashing then speeding, bouncing then gliding. With the help of drummer Karl, the grooves are executed with precision and power, from the pounding beats on Something to Save, to the offbeat swing of As Long As It Takes.

Of course, the most understated aspect of the band are the keys and electronic samples largely taken care of by Oli and Davie. Every song bears sprinklings of winding synths, or booming electro drumbeats, fusing the songs together between verses, choruses, breakdowns, and back again. With the way the five-piece weaves electronic with rock so well, it's really no wonder that some have named them Aotearoa’s answer to Linkin Park.

Along with singles Secrets, Tell Me What You’re Running From? and As Long As It Takes, highlights of the album include the epic and grandiose Demons, and Better Luck Next Time, a piece that’s guaranteed to swap a crowd for a moshpit. Driven deep with the double-kick bass drums, this particular tune evokes a motorsport video game soundtrack feel: Super-charged and speedy.

Another personal favourite sits near the end of the album, the drum & bass-informed ripper The Way Out. Until now, the Wolves hadn’t relented in creating a song wholly in this style, and the fast-paced groove serves as the album’s “one more before we wrap”.

The band has always been one that’s best experienced live, and this album captures their energy well. Production is nice and dense, the layers of sound creating the atmospheric surroundings that gives Written by Wolves its signature vibe, even down to the quiet ballad in the middle of the album. Bonus points must also go to the pacing of the album, which follows a rollercoaster flight of hard-hitting then soaring, down to a calm and loving cruise, then back up to high-octane. The saccharine stylings of Lucky Stars brings to mind Shihad’s Brightest Star, offering warm respite after an aural whirlwind.

Everything people love about the band is all here: Guitar riffs, arena-sized production, fantastic vocal hooks, and dancey electronic beats. Those with electronic-rock and alternative metal inclinations will also be thoroughly impressed with this LP, and existing fans of Written by Wolves will have plenty to sink their canines into and will undoubtedly mark half a dozen new favourites to revisit.

Be sure to catch their live performances - Follow the band’s Instagram and Facebook pages to catch announcements of their upcoming tour supporting the release of Secrets!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Written By Wolves

Written By Wolves are a fresh and progressive, cinematic rock band and one of the most exciting new rock acts to come from New Zealand in recent years.

Having announced themselves on the world stage with their debut release, Secrets in 2019 they then combined with some of the biggest names in Rock Music in 2021 to release The Collab Project, an EP and mental health initiative aimed at giving their fans, friends and followers a platform to talk about their mental health and a reminder that no matter what they are going through they do not have to do it alone. Featuring Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D, Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens, Trenton Woodley of Hands Like Houses and Sydney Rae White of The Wild Things, the EP has received critical acclaim, millions of streams and has delighted fans world wide.

Renowned for their highly energetic live show, the band have already shared the stage with international heavyweights such as Machine Gun Kelly, Limp Bizkit, Pendulum, Sublime With Rome, Suicidal Tendencies, Hed PE, Falling In Reverse, Escape The Fate, We The Kings, Four Year Strong, Stevie Stone, Kehlani and have recently completed back-to-back tours with two of New Zealand’s biggest Rock bands - Devilskin and Blindspott.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Written By Wolves

Releases

The Collab Project // Secrets
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Secrets
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Prologue
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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