Finger of God - Release the Wolves (Cover Artwork)

Finger of God

Release the Wolves (2005)

Mookie Dog

The specter of "art metal," as personified by the likes of Neurosis, Isis, and Pelican, has grown substantially over the past few years. While there will always be room for those who'd rather plug in and play, more bands are exploring more complex avenues and replacing the go-for-the-throat attitude of rock with a more epic, emotional feel.

Falling somewhere between Pelican's self-titled EP and Isis' Oceanic is Texas' Finger of God. Release the Wolves is a well-executed and intricate collection of instrumental rock. They are adept at switching between distorted peaks and acoustic valleys while maintaining a constant thrust. The five songs may be lengthy but they don't meander without direction. Standouts include "I Bleed Scorpions" and "Esteban." Both have a heavier style and some classic metal-oriented playing.

Some may be turned off by the similarities to Isis and Pelican ("The History of One Tough Motherfucker" is a bit of a ringer for both those bands), but I found Release the Wolves to be damn fine work. It's a keeper.

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