Wolf King, at least for me, came out of nowhere on 5/13 with their new album Into the Infinite. This Bay Area blackened hardcore band ripped out of bondage and through the gates with a vengeance, expecially upon the release of their music video for lead single "Deathless." Where the hell did these guys come from, and why was I not informed? Reportedly influenced by bands such as Converge, Circle... Takes The Square, and The Number Twelve Looks Like You (all groups I am a huge fan of), Wolf King is here to claim the throne for the genre. King in the North! (or West in this case I suppose)
So yeah, "Deathless." What a track. Where Plebeian Grandstand may have beaten these guys in terms of noise, Into the Infinite comes out on top in terms of airtight, memorable songs. The dark, grim nature of these riffs is certainly in the same realm as other recent top-tier hardcore releases like Great American Ghost, Grieved, and Bastard Feast. But Wolf King has some unique tricks up their sleeves; the most notable being the old school death growls first introduced on the opening to this song. These vocals add an extra layer of brutality to the band's already abusive and confrontational hardcore snarls.
And even though the group reaches a peak right at the start of this record, they manage to plateau. Every subsequent song is just as harsh and energetic as the last. As was once said by a certain neck-damaged bartender in Fight Club, "tight as a drum." The drumming is perfection from every D-beat to the patchwork of pace-changes on "All is Hollow." The guitars? The hooks are sharp enough to catch a kraken. Whether rumbling through a sludgey build or racing against the drums in a punk rock sprint to the finish, you will be moving to the music. Standard headbanging wasn't enough; I had to put one foot in front of the other to form a more stable base.
Into the Infinite, with still just over half of the year left, is poised to be my favorite hardcore album of 2016. There is more and more steep competition rising in this genre, but it will take another Red Wedding to steal back the crown. Especially considering the massive push from Sweden and their veritable army of freshly christened hardcore soldiers, it is an impressive feat that this American band has lept from the shadows and climbed straight to the top of the pack. Stream the whole album below and buy it for $5. They have earned it.