DREHG is the name of an exciting, new one man band acting as a center of gravity between the extreme and progressive scales of metal music. Ian Ferguson attracts elements of Death Metal, Prog, Mathcore, Tech Metal, a bit of Jazz, and more to the chaotic singularity of his next level compositional ability.
The fact that this unrelenting wave of sound all came from the mind and efforts of a single man is somewhat astounding. The sound quality may have the ring of a bedroom project at times but the composition is somewhere outside of this world.
“The Wolf You Feed” is the name of the colossal debut from Drehg. It brings together 8 tracks that are sure to make heads spin with their passing. If you wish to give a listen for yourself, you can check out the links provided down below. The entire album is also available for streaming and purchase via Bandcamp.
If the word “insanity” can be attached with a positive connotation, this album would be a great example of just that. The listener never quite knows which corridor of this ever shifting Byzantine Conduit they’ll be travelling down next! However, from the other side, this appears to be brought about in a very cold and calculated manner that’s well thought out. There’s no shortage of brain power behind this effort.
Fun Fact – The composer behind Drehg wrote “The Wolf You Feed” while earning a medical degree. That’s an impressive amount of hard work and a seemingly sleepless level of multi-tasking. Well done.
While nothing in this world seems to be truly original at this point, there are several sparks of independent brilliance stemming from DREHG’s work! If I were to compare this calculated madness to other bands however, a particular five come to mind – they are Meshuggah, Animals As Leaders, SikTh, Ever Forthright (whatever happened to those guys!?), and the illusory extreme metal wizards of Gorguts. Now imagine an independent, solo artist who can stand toe-to-toe among those juggernauts talent wise and you’ll get an idea of what we’re dealing with here!
Listeners get an immediate taste of the intensity this album presents with the opening track “An Act of Calculated Violence” (very appropriate name). It comes in different waves of winding musical chaos, beginning with a much more riffy approach, calming down a bit in the middle before an explosion, and ending with quite an impressive pattern that will surely attract the Meshuggah fans of this world. Great way to kick off the album and a solid glimpse of what to expect from “The Wolf You Feed’s” duration.
I could wax euphoric about all eight tracks for many more than eight different reasons. It’s hard to pick favorites here when every number is throwing itself so far outside the box in its own right. All the instrumentals certainly belong together but they show off a lot of ideas separately. There’s a lot of information to process and aural twists to be found on this impressive debut.
For example… “The Descent” is an intriguing track with literal downward and upward mobility. In other words, it creates illusions of elevation for the listener which isn’t a feat for the light hearted! We had the honor of hosting “Carrion Machine” over on our YouTube channel which is an absolute mind bender of a riff fest birthed out of antimatter or some such thing. This album’s title track is impressively mechanical, winding guitar notes in circles like your ears almost won’t believe before slowing a bit halfway to eventually throw up a sweet guitar solo. “Blood in the Water” floats between infectious grooves, mathy type moments, and very nice stretches of overall intensity. The ender “Feline” attacks with all the energy of a wild kitten…. a wild tiger kitten…. You get the picture. All of these offerings should be well accepted by the correct audience.
I suppose my primary (really my only) qualm with “The Wolf You Feed” is the quality of production. It can sound rough, unpolished, and slightly loose at times. However, in the grand scheme of things, this does little to hold back the explosive nature of the next level music presented here. You also have to give a pat on the back to the man for handling literally all of this on his own! Clarity be damned when you’ve got the jams!
Objectively speaking, this record may also scare the shit (and brains?) out of the average metal listener in terms of pure complexity. These are not easily digestible tracks by any means. There’s a lot going on at all times. However, once you dig in, it’s certainly worth the eight course meal.
At the end of the day, “The Wolf You Feed” might just bite your hand off but you can’t help but love the beast. I would easily give this extreme mountain of an effort a 9 out of 10. It delivers on so many levels with next to no setbacks. This LP is as enjoyable as it is complicated and impressive. I’d highly recommend it to the tech, prog, and death heads of this unworthy, mortal realm.
Once again, you can listen to the music through the links provided up above. If you wish to own “The Wolf You Feed” as a part of your pet music collection, head over to the zoo known as Bandcamp. If you wish to follow along with the work of Ian Ferguson moving forward, be sure to link up with his page over on Facebook. It should be very interesting to see what direction this beast of a project continues to grow in considering that it’s already so far out of the cage!
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