German sextet To the Rats and Wolves are one of those bands that metal purists despise with a passion so, if that’s you, it’s probably best you stop reading now. Announcing their return courtesy of frontman Nico Sallach bellowing “the wolves are back! Are you ready to dance? Are you ready to drink? Then jump the fuck up!”, there is no mistaking what the next forty minutes that make up Neverland are going to be like.
Party pop-metal is the best way to describe what you get on Neverland but, having toured with bands like Eskimo Callboy, this comes as no surprise. Blending the polished deathcore of Atilla, the big choruses of Black Veil Brides and the sugary pop saccharine of Issues, every track on this album will eat away at the very heart of your average traditional metal fan.
On the other hand, if you’re sixteen years old, growing up on the modern metal scene and are more into it for the image than the music, then tracks like “Blackout” and “Schoolyard Warfare” will be right up your alley. Neverland is a mess of brutal metalcore and sickly, synth-drenched pop melodies, the kind that, by rights, shouldn’t be within a million miles of each other. However, this is a new generation of metal bands and they’re very much about showing the world that metal doesn’t need to be about long, greasy hair and Satan.
Listening to Neverland is a harrowing listen for someone who grew up on a diet of Slayer and Iron Maiden. At times Metal in 2016 is so far away from its roots that it’s scary and albums like Neverland do nothing but dilute the genre even more.
01. Suburban Romance
02. Wild At Heart
03. Dead By Dawn
08. Schoolyard Warfare
09. Kill The DJ
11. Drag Me Down
Run Time: 41:47
Release Date: February 19, 2016
Check out the video for “Suburban Romance” here.