Photo by Mike Murphy

Today I experienced a total solar eclipse. Well, all of Salem did and I certainly hope you got out and took all in. It was beyond amazing for me. It’s difficult to explain, but I now completely understand why some people choose to become “eclipse chasers.” It really was quite a marvel. But now, I’m kind of in a post-eclipse funk. I want to experience it again, and I just can’t. So I sit down to write this article, pouting, and I put on the new Moon of the Wolf Album. And yeah…I note that the moon was a major player in the life-changing experience I had earlier and this band also has “moon” in their name. The first track “Blue Eyes” starts with its gradual, moody build up to the meat of the song – a sampling in one song what this band does: in your face guitars sometimes grungily droning and other times riff heavy and almost melodic. The drums are punishing and by contrast the vocals are soaring, almost airy.

I suddenly realize that this is the perfect album to simultaneously soothe and stoke my solar eclipse angst.

Moon of the Wolf is Tye Patterson on guitars and vocals; Brent Patterson (yes, they’re brothers) on guitar; Tyler Korslund on bass and vocals; and Chad Davis on drums. I met them down at Riverfront Park last week to talk about their band and their first, self-titled album, which has been generating a bit of a buzz around town and on YouTube. Before Tye contacted me, I already was wanting to do an article about them because many people in the music community who I respect were saying it was a great album. And it is, especially if you like the hard rock. They do it really well. I hear some 70s hard rock, a la Black Sabbath, but it doesn’t dwell there. Also a touch of Alice in Chains influence on a couple songs (Tye’s vocals) and the song “Capture” sure as hell harkens to Nirvana’s Bleach, especially the vocals (Tyler). I thought it was funny because I told the guys that I hadn’t seen anyone describe them as grunge, but I very much think there’s grunge elements to some of the songs. As we were leaving, Tye thanked me under his breath about my grunge comment. Maybe that’s something they don’t agree on? But you know, I don’t like comparing local bands with big timey bands anyway, but sometimes it helps to describe a sound. But do not think for a second that Moon of the Wolf is derivative. They’ve got their own thing going on here, for sure.

Their album got the attention of YouTuber Doom666, a fella who has a channel dedicated to albums in the doom/stoner metal genre. In the first week, their album got 12,000 views. That is remarkable for a local band. As of right this minute, they’re sitting at 15,129. That’s gotta be exciting. Go give them a few more?

I asked the guys if they had plans on playing a bunch of shows to promote the new album. The answer was, no. I was a little surprised at that blunt answer. Not really a typical attitude by local bands. But these guys, besides being awesome shredders, are also dads. They said if something special came up, they’d most definitely be down to play. But for the most part, their priorities are their families. So, besides being awesome shredders and dads, they’re also good humans.

Moon of the Wolf’s album is available on YouTube to listen to, but you can also support these locals by buying it on BandCamp. They’re only asking $3 for it, but you can pay more because it’s absolutely worth it.