Take a Ride on the Backs of IRE WOLVES


Duluth is a great town for music if you’re a white person with dreadlocks and a Bob Marley poster lazily tacked onto your dorm wall. If you want to groove to a vanilla-flavored jam-band or some impressively shreddin’ folk tunes, the western tip of Lake Superior is where your soul truly resides and you must answer the harbor’s call to become part and parcel with your patchouli-scented banjo. If you are any other kind of music fan, however, you best just be in town to hike, ski, or enjoy the majestic view of the world’s largest body of freshwater. Thankfully, there are a few brave pioneers that seek to make the lakeside trading port a happier place for greasy longhairs who wear black, instead of greasy longhairs who wear tie-die. Among these precious few is Ire Wolves, hard-stomping post-metallers from America’s scalp.


Ire Wolves’ debut album The Ascetic is everything you want from post-metal. They’ve got the whole rollercoaster dynamics thing down to a sexy, sexy science. It’s heavy and ugly, except for the times when it’s quiet and pretty, and the other times when it’s both heavy AND pretty. Oodles of other bands do this too, but what Ire Wolves has that I don’t see too often in post-metal are riffs that got DAT BOUNCE. Album opener Enduring Molasses is a jam that shakes my tuchus in addition to my noggin, especially when the guitar goes into higher register on the chorus. Unff.


Although sparingly used, the human voice is a compelling capstone to Ire Wolves’ tone-monolith. The growls throughout the record are a force of nature, powerful and full of the Truth of Ages. Ire Wolves also deserve megaprops for having a couple of real-ass singers in the band; the clean vocal dynamics on Beholden to None range from “sleeptalking Maynard James Keenan” to “young Ozzy performs The Wall under duress” to “Simon and Garfunkel bewail your viking funeral with a pagan death chant”, a transformation I am happy to experience on repeat.


Give these cool cats a listen, and consider donating the $5 to download the shit. Do it now, before they abandon all hope and pawn their full stacks to buy mandolins and vintage trousers!

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