Album Review: Werewolves – What A Time To Be Alive


Album Review: Werewolves – What A Time To Be Alive
Reviewed by Gareth Pugh

Well, we finally know who to blame, back in 2019, Aussie three piece Werewolves started writing and recording what would become their debut album, just about the same time the Australian forest fires started and proceeded to burn half of the country down to ashes. So, when the band thought that they would get their sophomore album together (obviously they considered the debut as just a warm-up) the world went to hell in a handcart. Thankfully if the apocalypse is almost upon us, and we start to murder each other for a tin of beans, Werewolves have come up with the perfect soundtrack to our mutual destruction.

Album Review: Werewolves

‘What a Time to be Alive’ is not for the faint hearted, nine tracks of visceral hate, starting with the "1, 2, 3, 4" of ‘I Don’t Like You’, blast-beats flying at you from all angles the guitar and bass spewing forth all sorts of riffs and mayhem, the track does slow, but only with a monstrous breakdown, the guitar and bass pulling you in different directions at the same time, ripping you into bloody halves. The only respite between opener and second track ‘Sublime Wartime Voyeurism’ is a brief monologue (and if I knew my films better, I’d be able to place the quote, it sounds like something to do with Jack the Ripper, maybe?), with which the relentless onslaught continues. These little monologues come in between a few of the tracks, similar to what Carcass did with ‘Necrotism – Descanting the Insalubrious’ and are quite hilarious little bonuses.

The band describe themselves as "Caveman metal", but I think they are doing themselves an injustice here. Caveman to me means primitive and basic, and while the music certainly has a primordial feel to it, it is far from basic. Guitarist Matt Wilcox (The Berzerker, Akercocke, etc.) is a fine technician, and the riffs are very cleverly constructed, complex yet as brutal and deadly as a serial killer. The band is predominantly death metal, but there are a few black metal flourishes that make the songs that little bit more interesting. I’m not going to go through the individual tracks, they are all very well written and performed, and the band is tighter than a dominatrix’s strap-on.

If you heard last year’s debut, ‘The Dead Are Screaming’ and enjoyed that, then you’re going to love this, everything has been ramped up by at least a factor of 1.5, it’s faster, heavier, and sonically so much better. The guitars have more of a sharper bite to them, the bass is more concussive in its delivery and the drums sound huge. If I have one complaint, it’s that everything is perhaps a little bit samey, with only epic closer ‘They Will Pay with Their Own Blood‘ offering any change of dynamics. That’s a minor complaint. This is brutal, uncompromising, and definitely worth checking out, although you better be quick, and before the band starts on album number three, and we all die horribly, in a nuclear apocalypse!


Werewolves release 'What A Time To Be Alive' via Prosthetic Records on January 29th.

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