Album Review :
To Speak of Wolves - Find Your Worth, Come Home
Artist: To Speak of Wolves
Album: Find Your Worth, Come Home
Label: Solid State Records
Reviewer: Brody B
- Stand Alone Complex
- Broken Birds
- A Simple Thought That Changed Everything
- Nostalgia Seeds
- Je Suis Fini
- Dialysis Dreams
- Rearview Memories
To Speak of Wolves has been carrying a great burden on their shoulders for some time now. That burden has been pressure. The pressure to find a new vocalist soon after the release of their debut record, just as they were refining their sound. Pressure to rise above the dreaded sophomore slump feared by nearly every band. However, after all this time of unbearable pressure, To Speak of Wolves can take one big collective sign of relief as they have most definitely delivered with Find Your Worth, Come Home.
This record is fast, heavy, and unrelenting giving the listener just enough time between heavier tracks to catch their breath. Find Your Worth, Come Home is laden with feedback ridden breakdowns, tight drumming, and complex guitar runs to provide an explosive backdrop to new front man Gage Speas. For those of you wondering what kind of pipes Speas has, think Define the Great Line era Underoath.
The first track on the album, “Hivemind” starts off with brief feedback before exploding into chaotic riffing that would make The Chariot green with jealous envy. The song stays pretty straightforward and heavy until it slows down during the bridge to make room for the subtle chanting. “Hivemind” flows right into “Stand Alone Complex”, the first single released on the album. The song is predominantly focused on keeping up the heavy, chaotic tones but throws in some faint clean vocals behind the frantic screaming in the chorus. The second verse of “Stand Alone Complex” features some dynamite guest vocals from Oh, Sleeper’s Micah Kinard with intricate instrumentation behind the powerful vocals. “A Simple Thought That Changed Everything” is really the first time the listener gets a chance to breathe as it’s primarily just a straight up rocker without much screaming or screeching guitar. I feel that it’s on this song where Speas will prove to critics that he is not just a Spencer Chamberlain wanna be, as his clean vocals are crisp and powerful, taking the forefront over the music. “Nostalgia Seeds” is one of the strongest songs on the record, picking the heaviness right back up without missing a stride as Speas hollers, “Soon enough you will have to see /This is only gonna make a mess of me!”. The final three songs on the record really show TSoW in full stride, a perfect way to end of a great record. “Dialysis Dreams” is a pretty straightforward song with simple chord progressions and instrumentation, however it fits absolutely perfectly with Speas’ flawless vocal performance as he switches back and forth from singing to screaming effortlessly. “Voidwaker” shows the band at full capacity, expertly pushing their instruments to their breaking point as Speas shouts, “Give me my worth and I’ll come home”. “Rearview Memories” is a song I could go on about for days. The song features major guest appearances from Levi the Poet and his sister Bree as they both offer heart-wrenching spoken word about their father who committed suicide. Speas, being a childhood friend of the two siblings, also offers absolutely harrowing screaming, dripping raw emotion. This is an absolutely breathtaking ending to such a blood pumping album!
The only real negative about this whole release is that while TSoW is incredibly good at what they do, I feel that they could still be a little more original. While they are perfecting their own unique sound, their influences still show strongly through their music.
Overall: To those To Speak of Wolves fans who have been anxiously awaiting the new record, wondering if it would live up to their expectations, fear not. To Speak of Wolves can confidently tour this new music they have worked so hard to craft over the past years, knowing they have created something truly impressive and heartfelt, beating all the odds of a slump or a vocalist that will not be accepted. I foresee this being a record that gets TSoW closer to being a well known act.
RIYL: Underoath, The Chariot, Norma Jean