Wolf - Ravenous 4/5

Reviewed: 5-22-09





Tracklist:

1. Speed on
2. Curse you Salem
3. Voodoo
4. Hail Caesar
5. Ravenous
6. Mr. Twisted
7. Whisky psycho hellions
8. Hiding in shadows
9. Love at first bite
10. Blood angel
11. Secrets we keep


Sweden’s simply monikered Wolf returns with their 5th full-length CD, and it won’t disappoint fans of their sharp, malicious, straightforward metal style. Fans of classic Judas Priest and Iced Earth should absolutely delight in this.

For all the glorious influence that the metal gods, Judas Priest, have had on the metal in existence today, Wolf probably does a closer job of truly capturing a lot of their spirit and feeling than any other bands out there. They’re not derivatives or sound-alikes, but the pure, powerful, and menancingly clear vocals of Niklas Stalvind, combined with the galloping and cutting guitar work of Stalvind and Johannes Losback, and the very direct rhythms of Anders Modd on bass and Richard Holmgren on drums, capture the feeling of side 1 of 'Defenders of the faith' and the more aggressive strains of 'Screaming for vengeance'. There’s a lot of great bands out there today playing off various themes of Helloween, Grave Digger, Manowar and Maiden, but the sweet spot that Wolf hits is just that much less common. While never budging from vocals with incredible clarity and melody, the band also retains a snarling, aggressive menace in their lyrics and attitude that’s also a bit fresh these days, and more of a nod to metal’s past, when it was, by design, a bit more dangerous and less comforting.

Of course, all these niceties about a well chosen style wouldn’t mean much if it wasn’t well done, but this is. The production is perfectly clear, straightforward and razor sharp, the hooks and riffs are compelling and engaging, the succinctly written songs aren’t going for epic, but instead, punchy, catchy and memorable choruses. The style, quality and performance is pretty much completely comparable with the prior 2 offerings from the lupine ones. Nothing more than straightforward metal done with devastating effectiveness; highly recommended.



CRAIG




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