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Album Reviews : Dire Wolf – Tooth & Nail

By on April 28, 2015

a4175207517_2In a strange and twisted world where “core” is a dirty suffix, it’s refreshing to see there are still numerous attempts at redeeming the terms “metalcore” and “hardcore.” Enter Dire Wolf’s EP Tooth & Nail, which was dropped a little while ago.

The EP consists of five tracks of blistering dissonance. From the outset it’s very apparent that Dire Wolf’s influences align with chaotic bands llike Converge, Every Time I Die, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Indeed, there are lots about the tones of this album that scream mathcore. The drum work is impactful, the snare is incessant, guitars are a flurry of striking discordance, and the vocals are piercing screams of anger. The music, in places, is also very stop-start.

The EP opens with “Face Fuck Delux,” providing an overall summary of what to expect from the rest of the songs. This song contains one of the better breakdowns I’ve heard in years. “Evil Eye” opens with an alternative country riff, before breaking into headbanging turbulence. “El Estrago” is one of the more unique, “melodic,” efforts of the album. “Kraken’s Blood” is easily identifiable as hardcore by its simple aggression, and the beats utilized in the majority of the song. The closing title track, “Tooth & Nail,” is a slow burning, fuming track that opens with some simple but cool ambience, and slams the EP home.

This jarring style of hardcore isn’t something new, but it’s something that is evidently overlooked for no good reason other than the majority of “core” fans clamoring to ingest the latest putrid serving of melodic, generic metalcore. Australia, admittedly, has one of the more interesting hardcore scenes developing right now, with bands like Deez Nuts, 50 Lions, Break Even and now Dire Wolf breathing new life into a seemingly dying genre. This EP is definitely a good start. Tooth & Nail is a lesson in violent regression for those who have lost their way; a reminder that hardcore isn’t dead, and it’s very, very pissed off.


Benjen is a qualified teacher residing in the south-east suburbs of Perth. Benjen was introduced to hard rock at the age of 12 with Papa Roach's "Love-Hate Tragedy," and has developed a love for hard rock and metal since. He also has a keen interest in gaming and almost every fandom imaginable, from Doctor Who to Deadpool. He can be followed on Twitter @thetoadmode