Blog Archives

Wolf – Devil Seed [Review]


Wolf – Devil Seed
2014, Century Media Records
Buy the album

1. Overture in C Shark
2. Shark Attack
3. Skeleton Woman
4. Surgeons Of Lobotomy
5. My Demon
6. I Am Pain
7. Back From The Grave
8. The Dark Passenger
9. River Everlost
10. Frozen
11. Killing Floor

Niklas Stålvind – Vocals, Guitar
Simon Johansson – Guitar
Anders G. Modd – Bass
Richard A Holmgren – Drums

The first and last time I listened to a full album from this band was with their 2009 album Ravenous. It was a solid album, but when I listened to a few tracks from their Legions of Bastards follow-up in 2011, I guess I wasn’t in the mood for these Swedish metal-heads because I’m certain I never listened to the whole thing.

With the release of Devil Seed, I decided to give these guys another chance and I’m glad I did. The first track I heard was “Killing Floor”. I think it might’ve been made available as a streaming preview and it perfectly captures the traditional heavy metal vibe. It’s a great way to close the album. As an opener, the instrumental “Shark in C Minor” sets the pace for what’s to come with yet another fantastic wallop of headbanging metal. “Overture in C Shark” smoothly flows into “Shark Attack”, which does not disappoint after the anticipation already built upon from the opening of the album.

I’ve seen some reviews stating this album is mediocre, but I’m digging it a lot. Much more than I thought I would. In fact, I think I like it better than Ravenous (which I can’t even remember) and I seem to recall that one getting high praise.

Wolf are firmly in the camp of the “new wave of traditional heavy metal” (Enforcer, Cauldron, White Wizzard, Skelator, Skull Fist, etc.) but I’m finding them to be among the cream of the crop as I think they have a better grip on melody and are superior at writing metal-tinged ballads and mid-tempo songs.

Highlights: “Overture in C Shark”, “Shark Attack”, “Skeleton Woman”, “My Demon”, “Frozen”, “Killing Floor”

WOLF – Ravenous

Wolf – Ravenous (2009, Century Media Records)

1. “Speed On” … 3:46
2. “Curse You Salem” … 3:54
3. “Voodoo” … 4:19
4. “Hail Caesar” … 3:48
5. “Ravenous” … 3:59
6. “Mr. Twisted” … 3:54
7. “Love At First Bite” … 3:49
8. “Secrets We Keep” … 4:52
9. “Whisky Psycho Hellions” … 4:42
10. “Hiding In Shadows” … 4:20
11.” Blood Angel” … 6:26

Niklas Stalvind – Vocals, Guitar
Johannes Losback – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Anders Modd – Bass
Richard Holmgren – Drums

Producer: Roy Z

Wolf is a Swedish act that more or less plays traditional heavy/power metal as if it were still the 1980s (and all of their album covers SCREAM “low budget label ’80s heavy metal” in a good way). I’ve been familiar with their name for the last few years, but for some reason (probably because of the style of music they play), I thought there were some ’80s act that never made it big. The band’s history actually only goes back to 1995 (with their self-titled debut arriving in 2000), certainly a time when it was anything but cool to be playing traditional heavy metal.

With the thinking that this band didn’t “make it” in the ’80s, at least to the level of underground sensation, I never gave the band much thought the few times I ran across their name. It also only because I have seen Ravenous pop up on a number of “best of 2009” lists that I decided to take a closer look. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered they were a fairly new band and while I liked the samples I heard online, the real clincher was that Roy Z was producing. Roy is one of my favorite producers from the last 10-15 years having worked with Bruce Dickinson, Halford, Judas Priest, Sebastian Bach, Rob Rock and Yngwie Malmsteen. Usually if he’s involved, I know I can expect a solid album.

If I were to compare Wolf to any bands, I’d have to say I hear traces of Judas Priest, old school Helloween, Riot and Dream Evil. Singer Niklas Stalvind certainly has the shrill voice for this style of metal.

Definitely a great album for fans of old school power metal and traditional heavy metal and it would’ve been a contender for my Top 10 of ’09 list had I heard it last year. If I have one gripe it is that some of the songs tend to blend together but there’s more than enough standouts tracks here to make up for it. A very promising band that I’ll have to reach back for to check out their earlier stuff.

Highlights: “Speed On”, “Voodoo”, “Mr. Twisted”, “Love At First Bite”, “Secrets We Keep”, “Whisky Psycho Hellions”

%d bloggers like this: