In The Presence of Wolves are a 4 piece band from Philadelphia who have talent beyond their years. These are some very nice guys who just love playing progressive music. They walk the fine line between progressive rock and progressive metal better than most bands out there. It's not easy to combine a modern approach to prog while still paying tribute to the roots of it at the same time. Their crowd-funded debut "Thalassas" shows that the band understand that it's not enough to be able to play well (and they do), but you need to have strong material as well.
The album starts with 2 very radio-friendly but very technical tracks, "Man of the Times" and "Storm in a Red Dress." Both are VERY memorable songs with strong melodies but also jagged riffs at the same time. The band has a ton of energy, as they sound like a band very anxious to show the listener that they aim to please. While with some younger bands this might be
precocious, with ITPOW it's very refreshing. They have good songs and attack the songs with the energy of a good live band.
I had heard the demos for the next 2 tracks "Hypoxia" and "Palladium," and while the demos were promising, these final versions make a very strong statement about the band honing their music to some very tightly arranged progressive masterworks. "Birdsong" is the lone mellow track. It's an acoustic tinged oasis that leads up to the three part title track suite. "Thalassas," the song, is actually 3 songs which showcase everything the band does well. The vocals of bassist Vini Stamato are always passionate and have a sense of urgency about them. Guitarists Chris Capitanio and Justin Alexander have riffs that seem to bounce off the walls and
careen around your head. And drummer Masong Ingling is the engine that makes this band go. A band like ITPOW is only as good as their drummer and Mason delivers a powerhouse performance.
The "Thalasas" suite ends with some keyboards that begin part III which show that the band have many weapons in their arsenal.
It's a three part epic that concludes a near perfect album! Fans of Porcupine Tree, In The Silence, and other modern prog bands will find much to love about "Thalassas." Check out the link below to their bandcamp site. In The Presence of Wolves is a band to keep an eye on and are easily my newcomer of the year for 2014.