Loyal Vault Hunters may recall that back in June we premiered “From Transylvania to Tunbridge Wells,” an absolute face-fucker of a song from Psalter of the Royal Dragon Court, the long-awaited second full-length Aussie black thrashers Mongrel’s Cross. Half of Mongrel Cross’s current lineup – bassist/guitarist Goet and recently added drummer Wretch – have also been playing together for more than a decade as Gol. They too have been relatively quiet for the last few years, but the OZBM duo are gearing up to release their third full-length Wolves at Candlemas on November 23 via Aurora Australis Records (preorder here).
Given the meaning of Candlemas, it’s serendipitous that the album comes out during the holiday season. Also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Candlemas is a Christian Holy Day observed on February 2 that commemorates…well, the presentation of Jesus at the Temple for his official induction into Judaism and the purification of the Virgin Mary after childbirth in accordance with Jewish law. Candles are traditionally blessed during the Candlemas service. There are not, however, traditionally wolves present.
But enough with the theology lesson – inquiring Vault Hunters are likely far more interested in whether or not Wolves at Candlemas rips. The short answer: you’re fucking right it does. However, there’s a lot more going on here than just that. The album also has its share of moodier, mid-tempo moments, and a surprising number of bitchin’ lead guitar breaks. Regardless of what tempo they’re playing at, though, their music sounds evil – almost gleefully evil, like there’s no better way to spend an evening than engaging in a bit of blasphemy.
We’re premiering “Contrawomb,” the penultimate track on Wolves at Candlemas, here today at the Vault, and we’re pretty damned gleeful about it ourselves. The shortest and quite possibly fastest song on the record, it also throws in just enough melody to keep you distracted while the song’s underlying aggression dislocates your jaw. It’s so fucking good, though, that it’s more than worth however long you’ll have to spend taking your meals through a straw after giving it a listen.