Twenty years is a very long time to be doing anything without due recognition. Hailing from Sweden WOLF are experiencing that very same situation. I saw them a few years ago supporting ACCEPT and they were nothing less than superb. Initially I though they were a new band but to see they had been together for two decades surprised me greatly. Why hadn’t I heard of them before? Nothing to do with not liking that style of metal, in fact they were the ideal band for when I wanted to listen to something along the lines of ACCEPT, later Helloween or Masterplan but listen to something was almost a combination of all three.
New album ‘Devil Seed’ starts with a short intro brilliantly titled ‘Overture in C Shark’ and leads into ‘Shark Attack’. Something is different. This WOLF sounds slightly darker and more focused. Gone is the slightly over the top approach which appeared on previous release ‘Legions of Bastards’. Singer Niklas Stavling’s vocals have really warmed up without losing any range. Richard Holmgren’s drumming is perfectly measured with Anders Modds bass playing which can be a rare occurrance in metal which is heard to great effect on ‘Skeleton Woman.’
To be honest for me ‘Surgeons of Lobotomy’ is my least favourite track but I’ve never been a fan of songs that have time changes stuck into a song that disrupts solid head banging feel. Both Demon and ‘I am the Pain’ are mid tempo sing alongs that would be superb live especially at festivals.
Oddly after this is where the album picks up the pace a little and gets slightly darker again. A very ‘No Prayer for the Dying’ / ‘Fear of the Dark’ guitar vibe from Simmon Johansson finishes off the album with “The Dark Passenger” , “River Everlost “, “Frozen” and “The Killing Floor”.
Devil Seed is quite a peculiar album because it is really well written, produced and performed and I really liked it but im not sure how regularly I would listen to it. On the other hand it could a real grower of an album, which, in the end, is always better than having a throw away release. WOLF are definitely far superior than their current exposure suggests. Also, this album helps build their back catalogue diversity and shows they are to be a more dynamic band in the future. So buy it, tell you mates and get them to buy it.