This month sees the eagerly awaited second part of Raised by Wolves from Servant Leader; a release which gripped ears and enjoyment as forcibly as its predecessor and completes one of the finest encounters of the past eighteen months.
Raised by Wolves Part 1 was a dramatically and virulently striking protagonist upon its release last year and fair to say Part 2 continues where it left off in craft, adventure and persuasion whilst setting its own raucously potent plateau of temptation. Its anthemic roar is driven by the bold enterprise and impassioned energy of Leigh Oates (Xilla, Order of Voices, Soldierfield, Rise to Addiction and Ninedenine), the man solely creating the release, and built on a fusion of grunge, rock and alternative metal. Viral infectiousness and emotive intensity equally shape its captivating presence which is much more than just an echo or mere continuation of that impressive first offering.
As with the first encounter, there is a certain scent of bands such as Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and John Bush era Anthrax to the sounds, indeed Oates tones bearing a great Layne Staley meets Chris Cornell hue within his own recognisable individuality, but it all goes to colour the compelling uniqueness of Servant Leader as swiftly proven by the EP’s opener and title track. Within a breath or two, Raised By Wolves is a roar of sound and emotion, a magnetic trespass as melodically honed as it is infectiously clamorous. In no time that catchiness soaks every aspect, rhythms a manipulative incitement as potent as the sonic and vocal dexterity around them. With an intensity which ebbs and flows within relentless cosmopolitan temptation, the track proved a quick addiction and reiteration of the power and prowess of Oates’ solo project.
The following Head Over Heart has a rapacious appetite as it surges through ears with senses giddying grooves before Oates’ rousing tones lead another wave of thick tempting. Once more rhythms make a telling impact, leading the song’s creative orchestration and invigorating uproar as the guitar weaves a web of melodic fascination and sonic drama. With its suggestive air wrapping the imagination, the song gently makes way for the seductive sway of Coming Down, a rapturous ballad which entwines melodic vines around ears as its haunting breath and Oates’ similarly warm vocals coax. Even so there is again certain drama and intensity within the track which rises to the surface through its twists and turns, the song continuing the formidable lure and prowess of the release.
Words Fail rises up in a spiral of sound next, hitting a contagious groove and swing at its peak which instantly burrows under the skin directing eager reactions to its creative infection. Again the mix of styles in Oates’ sound is as bold as it is inventive, fresh enterprise and an appealing vein of familiarity hitting the spot as the track strolls through its almost majestic landscape.
The release is completed by the equally irresistible Yearn, another evocative ballad rich in infection coated imagination and emotive earnestness. It is as serenade of sound and thought which is almost poppy in its instincts and progressive in its tapestry of invention to provide a glorious close to one creative feast of sound.
Raised by Wolves Part 2 is quite simply superb, an encounter which has given more energy and zeal to our passion for music. We suggest though embrace Parts 1 and 2 together for the whole magnificence sprung by Servant Leader.
Raised by Wolves Part 2 is out worldwide May 28th.
Pete RingMaster 21/05/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review