Album Review :
To Speak Of Wolves - Myself < Letting Go

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Band: To Speak Of Wolves
Title: Myself < Letting Go
Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Review By: Steve
Track Listing:

  1. Darkness Often Yields The Brightest Light
  2. You Should Have Locked Your Doors Days Ago
  3. Trust, But Verify
  4. Dimming The Light
  5. White Dress, Red Letter
  6. Just One Time
  7. In The Midst Of The City
  8. Quercus Alba
  9. Your Cage May Not Have Bars, But It’s Still A Cage
  10. Nothing Ever Ends

Well I have had to rewrite this review a few times because I have grown with this album.  My first review was a little negative because I did not really care for it at first because it was a bit generic.  Then my reviews started to get increasingly positive with each spin in iTunes.  Now this five-piece melodic metalcore band out of North Carolina is really starting to grow on me.

Musically, Myself < Letting Go has grimy and dirty texture to it.  The sound is raw but has a good quality to it.  The guitar riffs seem to meander a bit; however, the meandering fits in well with the overall sound that To Speak Of Wolves is trying to capture.  The guitars are so thick that you can almost physically feel them coming out of your speakers at times.  The guitars are at the forefront of this album and do a good job of driving the album.

Vocally, Myself < Letting Go alternates effectively between hard and melodic giving the listener a good dose of both.  Rick Jacobs has a great screaming and singing voice that fits in perfectly with the album.  I found that his haunting clean vocal mix created somewhat of a somber atmosphere at times on the album.  I liked that his clean vocals had rock feel to them instead of a pop feel like so many melodic metalcore bands have done in the past.  The lyrics on the album are very metaphoric and may not mention Christ, yet in many of the songs there is little doubt of whom To Speak Of Wolves puts their faith in.  In one of my favorite tracks on the album, “White Dress, Red Letter” Jacob finishes the track with, “As I sleep I slide in place / A silhouette leads me to the corner / Guided by the Light of Grace. / This search for freedom you will never find / without the guidance of the Son of High. / This search for freedom you will never find / the only Glory that can heal the blind / this search for freedom you will never find / the only Maker that can end all time.”

Some other notable tracks on the album are “Quercus Alba” and “In The Midst Of The City.”  “Quercus Alba” starts out as a beautiful piano driven ballad with some soft clean vocals that slowly build into Jacobs letting go with screaming finish.  This is probably the most original and unique track on the album.  My favorite track on Myself < Letting Go would have to be “In The Midst Of The City.”  This track talks about fighting against this world and needing God to save and strengthen us.   “My arms give in I’m drowning. / don’t be afraid you say, the flame is forever burning. / This war is yours to win, so forward I keep marching. With your right hand (Father I beg) / Pull me up again (show me the way) / before the flood you send (guide me) / To the shallow end.”

Overall: This thick guitar driven album is sure to please metalcore fans; however, this may be an album you have to listen to several times to fully appreciate the artistry of To Speak Of Wolves.  It is an extremely well produced debut album and another solid album from yet another excellent Solid State act.