If you know who Wolves Den is when reading this review (or perhaps you are Wolves Den) then feel free to holla on social media. I did a lot of searching trying to figure out who this was or where they are from and drew blanks. Perhaps if I didn’t recognize anime samples I wouldn’t have even bothered, but when I heard dialogue from the English dub of Attack on Titan during “Sun Goes Down” my curiosity was piqued.

Unfortunately on the day I wrote this review I also seemed to be the only person who had ever listened to “Antagonist” other than DistroKid. Who is DistroKid? Well that’s not the producer of this album’s music, nor the executive producer behind it, nor even a person at all. DistroKid is a music distribution service that helps aspiring artists get their music on various platforms — Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, et cetera. Create an album, sign up on their website, and you too can find your album available on all the major streaming services. They claim that creators keep 100% of anything they earn, which sounds too good to be true, but since I’m not a musician and have nothing to upload I can’t prove this claim true or false.

As far as I can tell all of the dialogue appears to be from AOT, which makes me wonder if DistroKid worries about whether the artists using their service have cleared all the samples on their songs. I doubt Wit Studio, MAPPA, Crunchyroll or anybody else in the AOT anime adaptation pipeline was contacted by Wolves Den or paid for the usage here. Wolves Den might argue “fair use” by virtue of it being transformative, but I’m not sure how transformative entire scenes worth of dialogue reproduced over a rock and roll beat are. In fact given how familiar the guitar licks of “Steelo Rage” are I’m pretty sure that too was just cut and pasted into the unnamed producer’s rap track.

Individually there are parts of this I would be inclined to like. Taking inspiration from anime? Of course. Rock/rap fusion? I’ve always enjoyed it, especially when done well. An independent artist releasing their own music and keeping 100% of the royalties? I couldn’t be more in favor of that. The problems here are entirely in the execution. The guitar riffs are so loud they drown out the already muddy vocals, which are made even harder to comprehend by being vocally modulated and tuned to a fine pitch.

I’d like to know more about who Wolves Den is — I think there’s more than one rapper here — but given how poorly mixed this is I can’t say for certain. Given the lack of information accompanying this upload I can’t say anything for certain. One think DistroKid clearly doesn’t do is provide a link to an artist’s social media presence when they share their music, nor a link to a bio, nor put any information about them in the areas where you could fill in a description. All you get is “Provided to YouTube by DistroKid” and “Auto-generated by YouTube.” Fat fucking lot of good that does. So Wolves Den, you were and still are a mystery to me. I think you might have a good idea here but learn how to mix the lyrics with the instrumentals and get all your samples cleared.

Wolves Den :: Antagonist
4.5Overall Score