For their eighth album, Orange County, CA outfit Project 86 have leaned into their hard rock sound. While previous releases had showcased the band’s interest in nu metal and post-punk, this latest release very much follows in the footsteps of their 2014 offering Knives To The Future. While this may be a good thing for long-time fans of the band, it’s doubtful there will be anything for anyone here from outside of the hard rock community.

The hard-rock-offset-by-lighter melodies style of songwriting that has permeated the band’s discography is still in full effect, producing an album that doesn’t go past heated and wander into full on blazing intensity. While Adam Schwab’s vocals are still as effective and incendiary as they always have been, what is disappointing are the bright and ‘hopeful’ melodic parts, whether they be in solo or harmonising guitar work.

This is admittedly down to preference, and one can be sure that if you already know the name Project 86, it is unlikely this review will do anything to either persuade or dissuade anyone to invest time in going over the band’s discography. As one of the premier American hard rock bands that also maintain a strong Christian fan base, it is a release that will serve to slightly challenge listeners. While reassuring fans of their faith and moral outlook with well-placed choral parts and lyrical content, these otherwise buoy any actually subversive intensity on the album. However, if this level of engagement is what you are after, then this may be the album for you.

Sheep Among Wolves Track Listing:

01. MHS
02. Dead Man’s Switch
03. Imaginary Me
04. Freebooter
05. By Constantine
06. Copper Wish
07. Sheep Among Wolves
08. Into Another
09. The Great Escape
10. Metempsychosis

Run Time: 35:06
Release Date: December 5, 2017

Get a load of the new track “By Constantine” now!


Director of Communications @ V13. Lance Marwood is a music and entertainment writer who has been featured in both digital and print publications, including a foreword for the book "Toronto DIY: (2008-2013)" and The Continuist. He has been creating and coordinating content for V13 since 2015 (back when it was PureGrainAudio); before that he wrote and hosted a radio and online series called The Hard Stuff , featuring interviews with bands and insight into the Toronto DIY and wider hardcore punk scene. He has performed in bands and played shows alongside acts such as Expectorated Sequence, S.H.I.T., and Full of Hell.