Record Review - 2 October 28 2004

The last-minute cancellation of this year's Lollapalooza tour was a crying shame. It would've been a great cultural litmus test for the ominous doom-core peddled by Michigan trio Wolf Eyes. Burned Mind's release will have to suffice. Sure, the band has a voluminous catalogue, dating back to the late '90s. But most of it was issued on tiny labels in limited pressings. Propelled by Sub Pop's distribution power and indie-to-mainstream cachet, Mind is the first Wolf Eyes record likely to be available at indie music stores and Best Buy.

Though it lacks the sickle-in-the-forehead force of the band's live shows, Mind is nonetheless a bracing experience. Wolf Eyes is like a sonic gateway into a beastly, Mad-Max-ian post-apocalyptic world. On "Stabbed in the Face," lumbering, serrated sounds merge with what seems like the squawks of mutant birds, as vocalist John Olson's massively damaged vocals surge then seep into a feral malaise. The wing flaps of bats mark "Village Oblivia," and the title track follows a chilling bass drum deeper and deeper into a cave of digital residue. The song ends knee-deep in madness.

— Raymond Cummings