Review: A Scent Like Wolves – Mystic Auras

Artist: A Scent Like Wolves
Album: Mystic Auras
Label: We Are Triumphant

1. Pink Dawn
2. Eastern Lights
3. Telephone
4. Bloom (ft. JT Cavey of Erra)
5. Poison
6. Midnight Eyes
7. Deja Vu (ft. Matteo Gelsomino, ex-NOVELISTS (FR))
8. Death Effect (ft. Brian Wille of Currents)
9. Dissolve (ft. Booka Nile of Make Them Suffer)
10. Aquamarine

Admittedly, A Scent Like Wolves is a band that wasn’t on my radar prior to 2020. However, after being introduced to them by a good friend of mine (here’s looking at you, Bryce!) they’ve remained in rotation among my favorites for their genre. With a nostalgic sound that blends beautiful melodies, pop sensibilities and an aggressive edge they’ve got something for everyone. Formed in 2010, they came out of the gate swinging by winning a battle of the bands contest. This win allowed them to play alongside Hollywood Undead, We Came As Romans, I See Stars and Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S.) and propelled them forward to a promising career, also playing Reckless Fest II which featured Asking Alexandria shortly after the release of their debut album, And the Story Goes. Signed to We Are Triumphant (a former Victory Records imprint) in Winter of 2015, they prepared to release their sophomore effort, Frigid Future. After touring the US and Asia they briefly signed to CI Records and announced their new EP, Spirit Vessel which featured Ryo Kinoshita of Crystal Lake. It all came full circle in the Winter of 2020, when the band announced their third full-length album, Mystic Auras and re-signed with We Are Triumphant.

Having been a band for a decade, their sound has evolved accordingly. While, in the beginning, their sound near-mimicked the bands they’d open for, they quickly started paving their own path and blended different elements of the genre to create something that they could be proud to call their own. Mystic Auras adds more technicality to guitarists Jeff Brown and Blake McClimon‘s arsenals, for example. Vocally, Nick Boltz steps into the spotlight, performing many of the main choruses on the album. This makes for a stronger, more balanced dynamic than previous releases. Drummer Cody Frain erupts to stand as a focal point for many of the songs on this album. In terms of production, Grant McFarland and Carson Slovak (August Burns Red, From Ashes to New, Galactic Empire) took the band’s vision for their sound to a new level. While always impressive, the production value on this album in particular will stand the test of time.

Another thing I’d like to note is that, on principal, I generally find interludes on albums this short to be nothing more than filler material. However, at just over a 30-minute runtime, both interludes found on Mystic Auras, add to the mystery and the overall atmosphere of the album rather than take away from it.

Finally, let’s talk about the vocal features on this album. While they have been no stranger to these on past releases, this album is packed with phenomenal guest vocal parts. This starts with JT Cavey (Erra), whose powerful presence is felt on “Bloom,” which you can view the video for below. Matteo Gelsomino, former vocalist for French progressive metalcore band NOVELISTS (FR), blends into the fabric of “Deja Vu” as if he were a part of the group. A change of pace comes with “Dissolve” which features Make Them Suffer’s Booka Nile, whose haunting vocal style accentuates one of the more somber tracks on the album. Finally, Currents frontman Brian Wille’s commands the listener’s attention in a big way with “Death Effect.”

Mystic Auras is a huge step, both in direction and style for the band. Moreover, it exhibits a band that truly knows what they want. Explosive, atmospheric, rhythmic and groove-ridden, this release has something for any metalcore fan but unlocks it’s real potential in those who take the time to fully digest the record, lyrically and musically. Check out the videos for “Bloom” and “Telephone” below and be sure to head to the band’s website to pick up a copy of Mystic Auras out now on We Are Triumphant.

Buy/Stream Mystic Auras
Merch/Physical Copies | iTunes | Spotify

Bloom (ft. JT Cavey of Erra)
Telephone (Official Music Video)

Connect with ASLW on Social Media
Official Website| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

A Scent Like Wolves is:
Al Boltz – Vocals
Nick Boltz – Vocals
Jeff Brown – Guitar
Cody Frain – Drums
Blake McClimon – Guitar