4.0 out of 5 stars
A return to form, 17 Dec. 2013
So where as In Dreams was an unfortunate release-of-grasp from the usual stunning songwriting that ATB display, Wolves Within certainly displays a return to form which is welcome with open arms.
From the intial drum-led hammering of Anti-pattern all the way through to the closing precision-played atmospheric moments of A Wolf Amongst Ravens, this album delivers consistantly. There are stand-out tracks and stand-out moments within those tracks, but you should make your own mind up as to what those are.
Be clear - this isn't Rareform. Nothing ever will be, but this album is definately closer to their masterpiece than anything since. Guitars are less layered and manic here - stripped-down beats and solos retain their beauty. The vocal assault is a nasty as ever - perfectly balanced against the music through an excellent effort on production. But its the songwriting - in particular the construction of riffs, the little-but-often dynamics, the dual-guitars... everything we learned to expect from ATB, just a little more mature, a little more defined, a little more polished.
Downsides... this album lacks some of the relentless mental pace and energy of Rareform and even In Dreams at times, so if you were expecting that, you should clear your mind and approach this album with a fresh perspective.
Overall.. its an outstanding piece of work.