Thu 11th May 2017
It's all over in less than nineteen minutes, but The Great Year is such an involving, invigorating experience that it feels epic, and demands full length immediate repeats. Direwolves have really stepped up their game here.
Unpoisoned sets things straight from the off, where amidst the caustic screamo influenced hardcore, with references ranging wide from Touché Amoré to Will Haven envisaged, an uplifting tone is clearly evident, an anthemic calls to arms. Oaths & Duality immediately recall their Throatruiner labelmates Birds in Row, the last band to conjure such emotion within me from this sound, and you can even hear the harsher ends of Deftones within. It's stunning.
The posi-vibes generated are strong, emanating from all tracks, an irresistible exhilaration. Even on Ascent, (possibly my favourite cut in a close to call referendum,) where the pace drops slightly and there enters a more chaotic arrangement, the track's title's aspiration holds true. As the lighter tones of the final track Paths to Metnal sweep in, the passionate post-hardcore winning you over, you realise quickly it's another fantastic song, and reflect quickly on how there's not a weak moment across all six offerings.
It takes a lot for my doom soul to warm to screamo and the like, but when it is done as well as here it feels positively life affirming, an adrenaline shot that rejuvenates and empowers on each listen. The heaviness retained throughout helps - there is a darkness and weight at all times, even when it soars to the skies. Direwolves have created an energising album that is quite simply flawless.