Reading’s A Scent Like Wolves the latest in long line of Southeastern Pennsylvania metalcore
Southeastern Pennsylvania has quite the metalcore pedigree. Bands like Philadelphia’s One Dead Three Wounded and A Life Once Lost jumped onto the touring circuit in the early days of the genre, exposing audiences to a high-energy mix of metal and hardcore in the same vein as Lancaster bands Texas in July, This or the Apocalypse and August Burns Red. The latter’s drummer, Matt Greiner, has heavily influenced the percussionist of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s newest heavy export: Reading’s A Scent Like Wolves.
“Matt Greiner is a beast on drums; he completely changed the game for me,” said A Scent Like Wolves drummer Cody Frain. “Poison the Well really started it. That post-hardcore sound was an awesome influence on me.”
Frain, 23, joined A Scent Like Wolves vocalists Al Boltz and Nick Boltz, bassist Billy Hoier and guitarists James Reber and Kyle Pettigrew in the band a year and a half ago. Frain took part in his school’s jazz band and drum line and has played drums in rock bands since he was in 8th grade, and he’s hoping to fuse elements of his musical background with his interest in metalcore to create a unique sound.
“It’s really interesting for me to try and break away from that foundation and try to add jazz and progressive elements to A Scent Like Wolves,” Frain said. “A lot of metalcore bands don’t really incorporate that kind of stuff. I’m really interested to see what people think about it.”
Frain described metalcore drumming as lax compared to jazz drumming’s strict technical aspects and rudiments; he said it mostly relied on the genre’s signature double bass pedals to provide straightforward, driving percussion. His first foray into blending his musical past with the present comes on A Scent Like Wolves’ newest album, “Frigid Future,” which was released worldwide March 18. What’s the different between “Frigid Future” and A Scent Like Wolves’ last album, 2013’s “…And the Story Goes?” According to Frain—whose participation is one difference since he joined after “…And the Story Goes” was released—the band’s new album is a leap forward in both energy and musicianship.
“I think it’s a lot more powerful compared to our last album,” Frain said. “That album is more straightforward metalcore whereas this one I think we all progressed as musicians. It’s a lot more technical and a lot more polished as an album.”
Frain and A Scent Like Wolves aren’t the only ones trying to put their own spin on the metalcore genre. As trends change and bands fall away, those who are left remain for a reason: they adapted and, in the process, found their own unique sound. This is the scene A Scent Like Wolves is entering into, but Frain isn’t nervous—he’s anticipating it.
“I’m really excited to see where it’s going next,” Frain said. “The metal genre as a whole is so interesting, especially to the people who are well-versed in metal. There’s so many different sub-genres emerging from metal that it’s so interesting to me.”
A Scent Like Wolves plan to tour the United States and possibly Canada in the fall, and are making plans to visit Japan and China; Frain said their album debuted at No. 3 on the Japanese metal charts. For more information on the band and for upcoming dates, visit facebook.com/ascentlikewolves.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @WKDR