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The Minor Times Summer of Wolves

The Minor Times - Summer of Wolves
01. + + +
02. Casket City Lights
03. Van Zant
04. Ladder Devils
05. Blackhole Living
06. Amazing Grace
07. This Is The Blues
08. Bring In The Suit
09. Fine Line
10. Firespitter
11. Disappear Here
Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 8/4/2007

Let it be known that I'm pretty receptive toward records like this. The Minor Times' latest album, Summer of Wolves, is yet another chapter in 2007's string of excellent Coalesce-type releases, and as much as I'm wondering when this sound will reach the tired proportions of Swedish metalcore, I love every bit of it.

Perhaps the reason why this style of records has yet to grow tiresome lies in these bands' ability to provide small, but distinctive twists in order to keep things fresh. So while Architect takes a more metalcore oriented lean, Achilles emphasizes remarkable atmospherics and transitions, and Engineer just flat out destroys with unrelenting heaviness, the Minor Times carves out their own niche by displaying a slight throwback to late 90s hardcore (say, Turmoil) to round out their Coalesce heavy sound.

It might be a little unnecessary to go in depth describing the basics of this genre. Gritty bass, powerful drumming and intense vocals are all expected and their presence on Summer of Wolves does not disappoint. Odd-time signatures and start-and-stop rhythms are pulled off effortlessly, and as a result, continue to engage the listener from start to finish. Even the breakdown in the intro of "Firespitter" feels mathy despite its adherence to 4/4 time. Much like other similar acts, the guitar and bass each pull their own weight, allowing the guitar work to often focus on the upper fret board while the bass keeps the track firmly rooted in the low end heaviness it deserves. And on top of all of this, the Minor Times adds a crushing level of intensity to drive these 11 tracks with an unmistakable hardcore mentality.

Summer of Wolves also has a few smaller touches that boast the precision involved in its creation. "Bring in the Suit" provides a few moments of dirty feedback in the track's open spaces, allowing it to possess a raw feel despite their meticulous inclusion. "The is the Blues," the album's nearly nine minute long epic, delves into three and a half minutes of Radiohead-esque melody in its latter half, an event foreshadowed by the track's electronics oriented intro. Although I'd argue that the transition from metallic hardcore into synthy rock isn't as clean as it could be, I still find myself looking forward to the track's infectious mood and simplistically catchy singing of "Na Na Na Na Na" every single time. And all of this is executed with an excellent production job that allows room for such great departure to occur.

One more thing: the packaging and layout of this disc is awesome. Yes, it's only a jewel case. And no, there's no Jacob Bannon paint splatters. But the combination of a very strict red, black, white, and gray color scheme with oddly drawn, almost cartoonish wolves and random lyrical excerpts of apocalyptic nature ("The radio says we're doomed and I pray to God they're right," for example) is quite unique and refreshing.

Bottom Line: If you bought records from Architect, Achilles and Engineer this year, picking up the Minor Times' Summer of Wolves is a no brainer. Coalesce-style bands have yet to bore me, and as long as the albums are as intense and engaging as this, I don't foresee my loss of interest at any time in the near future.

anonymous   posted 6/19/2013 11:11:10 AM
That's not true. The first release from this band was an EP entitled "Chris Chambers Never Misses."
wingman_   posted 12/13/2007 3:11:00 AM
rickrock. they didnt put out an EP before this. the Only cd they had b4 this was Making Enemies
rickrock_   posted 8/13/2007 3:47:00 PM
"BUY ROBOTIC EMPIRE'S 'MUTATION' COMP. To see where this band was born." - Uhh...you do know they had a CDEP before this, right? In fact, I kind of wish the vocals were more like the EP than the last album. Great band otherwise.
monolithic_   posted 8/9/2007 2:49:21 AM
I don't know about this album, but the last one was more Botch than Coalesce.
I_AM_FUCK_   posted 8/8/2007 7:37:09 PM
Finally listening. Already enjoying more than the last album.

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