Wolfpakk - Cry wolf 4/5
2. A matter of time
3. Dark revelation
4. Cold winter
5. Palace of gold
6. The beast in me
8. Pressure down
9. Run with the wolf
10. Cry wolf
11. Kid raw (bonus track)
After the success of the debut Wolfpakk collaboration between long-time friends vocalist/guitarist Michael Voss (Mad Max) and vocalist Mark Sweeney (ex-Crystal Ball), released back in 2011 and featured over 30 guest musicians/vocalists, this German group has returned 2 years later for a 2nd dose of melodic power/heavy metal (with traces of hard rock) to once again get the blood pumping and the head banging, and with a new batch of guests to boot.
If the debut was anything to go by, the new CD entitled ‘Cry wolf’ should again be another slab of catchy, slightly cheesy melodic power metal... and it is. Being in the metal game for around 3 decades, the 2 have built up quite a solid reputation, a great knowledge of the music scene/industry and also a lot of musical connections, which they have used all the above to direct and steer the good ship Wolfpakk.
Aside from Voss doing some of his own guitar work throughout the new CD, Wolfpakk have enlisted the talents of 4 further guitarists – Mandy Meyer (Unisonic/Krokus/ex-Gotthard), Martin Rauber, Kee Marcello (ex-Europe) and Roland Grapow (Masterplan/ex-Helloween). There’s also a bassists plus 2 keyboardists including Don Airey (Deep Purple/ex-Rainbow/ex-Ozzy Osbourne/ex-Michael Schenker Group/ex-Jethro Tull), and also 3 drummers, including Brian Tichy (ex-Billy Idol/ex-Foreigner/ex-Whitesnake/ex-Derek Sherinian).
Lastly there are 9 guests vocalists which are Amanda Somerville (Kiske/Somerville), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Goran Edman (Time Requiem/ex-Yngwie Malmsteen), Johnny Gioeli (Axel Rudi Pell), Doogie White (Cornerstone/Tank/Michael Schenker Group/ex-Rainbow/ex-Yngwie Malmsteen), Tony Mills (ex-TNT), Blaze Bayley (Blaze Bayley/ex-Iron Maiden), Piet Sielck (Iron Savior) and Jean-Marc Viller. Excited yet? You should be!
Sweeney and Voss have again written all the lyrics and music for ‘Cry wolf’, as well as the mixing and production, so once again much like the debut CD, catchy head-nodding melodic metal forged with the harder-edged hard rock flows through this release smoother than silk thanks to Voss/Sweeney and the wonderful guitar work from the guest guitarists; and a exceptional performance from all else who is involved.
All 11 tracks (10 + a bonus track) on the CD are of a very high and consistent level of quality; whether they be speedy kick-ass tracks or prodding mid-paced rockers and also epic sounding songs. One of the many highlights on the CD is the amazing and energetic solos throughout each track, knowing that each one is considerably different from the other thanks to the numerous guitarists.
While the entire CD is supreme, there are always some tracks that just stand out amongst the others, the favourites you might say. And with that said, here goes – (note that all songs feature Sweeney and Voss on vocals) the opening track “Moonlight” kicks things off into high gear, with Primal Fear vocalist Ralph Scheepers feeling right at home in a speedy track that could have fitted on any Primal Fear release, with a kick-ass solo by Mandy Meyer. Hard rock/melodic metal gets its flashy turn with “A matter of time” that features Axel Rudi Pell singer Johnny Gioeli, in a catchy as hell mid-paced foot stomping track with Michael Voss belting out the guitar solo and Brian Tichy behind the kit.
“Beast in me” sets things into overdrive with another lightning quick ripping track, with vigorous guitar riffs from Roland Grapow and double-bass pummeling throughout. Guest vocalist on this excellent track is Goran Edman whose melodic vocals soar as high as the heavens. In homage to the Wacken Open Air Fest held annually in Germany, Piet Sielck and Brian Tichy combine for the ball busting inferno that is “Wakken”, one of the catchiest tracks on the CD, a grand sing-a-long chorus and its melody almost hypnotic. Lastly “Pressure down” is another hard hitting melodic metal/hard rock track that features Doogie White on vocals and a ripping solo by Voss.
In the end, I must say that despite hearing this style of heavy metal a million times before, it just never gets old due to its catchiness grasping towards your senses, the thrilling guitar work and splitting solos that you can never get enough of... well for me anyway. ‘Cry wolf’ is another great release from Wolfpakk, possibly better than the debut although they both stack up very well together. This one is simple, ‘Cry wolf’ is for fans of classic heavy metal, melodic/power metal and hard rock. You just can’t go wrong with this CD as the enjoyment factor alone is enough to keep it spinning for a long time to come.
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