Joe Wolfe is an underground death metal artist who is local to central Ohio. Wolfe is known for his signature “inhale growl” guttural vocal style and his work with the bands Clean Flesh/Erotic Incisions, and Heinous Killings. After an all too long hiatus the Predator is back with a new project he is working on currently, and a new song, under the moniker, “Sick Hymns”. This examiner got the elite opportunity to enter the den of the Predator for an intimate look at what makes this man, and the music he produces, so very brutal.
Wolfe is known for his unique vocal styles which have been described as an inhuman sound likened to the noises made by the alien hunter from the 1987 movie “The Predator”. Hence he earned his nickname. His vocals are considered one of a kind in the underground death metal scene and have earned him much acclaim with fans worldwide. Years passed between Clean Flesh and the Heinous Killings projects leaving fans with only rumors that Wolfe had been killed in some heinous manner. Wolfe, obviously is not dead, but he did have one foot in the grave. He has taken the anger and depression he endured as a result of a series of tragic life experiences and hurled it all back into his music. The Predator is back and he is pissed! Sick Hymns combines Wolfe’s veteran experiences in death metal, with his recent hardcore and progressive influences to create a marriage of styles That is nothing short of SICK! Wolfe has released one song, Blasphemous Bitch and it is available to download for free on reverbnation.com.
I have been a personal friend to Joe for nearly twenty years and have supported him as a friend and artist for as long. I have experienced some of the hurdles he has overcome. It all started in 1998 Joe started to feel an intense warmth spread out across his chest. He started having trouble breathing and nearly lost conciousness. He was rushed to the emergency room. Joe’s lung had nearly collapsed, the warm feeling in his chest was blood leaching out from his lung cavity. The red red krovvy. An accumulation of air bubbles had essentially burst and left Joe’s lung not collapsed, but significantly deflated, and had to be pumped back up by the doctor. The incident was not attributed to Joe’s vocal style, but rather cigarette smoking, a likely target. So Joe continued to sing after he healed.
Using his instrument became a little more difficult after that night. Joe continued to sing, fighting an uphill battle with declining lung health. Until 2004 when his lung completely collapsed, twice. He went through a series of lung surgeries. His lungs were scraped clean in a procedure gory enough to have been the subject of one of his album covers. He was left in agonizing pain for a long time to come, and told he would never sing again. To add insult to injury his marriage started to fall apart the very night of Joe’s surgery. He was left weak and frail, physically and emotionally. He spiraled into the oblivion of a deep, years long depression.
Wolfe never gave up on music. He continued to listen to and play death metal. But also started to expand his taste in music and listen to other genres. He eventually emerged from the grips of depression wiser, and a little more well rounded. After a few years he even started to sing again. That is when he wrote, recorded, and produced, every bit of the Heinous Killing’s release; “Hung with Barbwire”. Wolfe recorded the guitar, bass, vocals, and drums (machine). He recorded and produced the full length album in a spare bedroom in a shitty apartment he shared with his wife, and son. For a few years HK saw a bit of success and Wolfe hired a band and started playing live gigs.
Eventually the impact of the emotional and physical suffering Joe had sustained caught up with him and Heinous Killings fell apart, as Joe’s personal life slowly decayed. Joe genuinely wanted his marriage to work out. Mr. Wolfe fought for his pack ferociously. After many years and way too much drama Joe has returned to his roots. Once again a lone wolf, howling away his pain into the night. Prepare yourself for Sick Hymns as it promises to be a savage, soul cleansing conglomeration of brutal death, hardcore, and progressive influences, laced with a little anger, and a lot of hate.