If The Minor Times' 2004 effort "Making Enemies" was their freshman report on the discographies of groups like Coalesce and Botch; then consider "Summer Of Wolves" their senior year master's thesis. A raucous, blunt force display of power, this album routinely capitalizes on the traits of pioneering bands whose works have thankfully yet to be completely marginalized by metalcore like so many others.
Enraged throaty expulsions of vocal venom spew forth with an extra helping of malice, while contrasting mathy bass lines slither underneath large groaning metallic riffs and sharp hard hitting drumming keeps the timing unhinged. Neither marred by overpowering blast beats nor wanky Guitar Center showcases, there's an organic nature to the adverse aggression that The Minor Times freely create. In fact, it's their continual sense of tension and individual instrumental opposition which keeps the listener attentive for most of the release.
Sure it's all a bit rough around the edges and doesn't exactly expand upon the base of its inspirations. But its lack of polish and grating hunger definitely don't hamper the sense of authenticity behind what the band are trying to do. That said, those schooled in late 90's metallic hardcore will likely find the only surprise here to be the electronically tinged Nine Inch Nails-like passage in "This Is The Blues" - a surprising twist which definitely hints that these boys have more in their repertoire than they are currently letting on.
But aside from that much of the album maintains a steady course that while cathartic and admittedly enjoyable, does lack the sense of identity and indelible creativity needed to truly establish themselves. Perhaps if their key influences didn't drop such landmark albums this would be a different story, but then again not everyone in the pack can take over for the alpha wolf.
(3.5 / 5)