WOLF - Evil Star
March 7, 2004, 16 years ago
When the guys in Wolf claimed they'd stepped back from the blatant Maiden-isms of their initial releases, a trait which made them all the more endearing (in most eyes), I took it with a grain of salt. Bands are always wafting on about how their influences do/don't shine through. Anyways, the promise of a more "Accept style" was greeted with eager anticipation. True to their words, the young Swedes have melded traditional metal's finest: Accept, Priest and Mercyful Fate (guess the 2003 BW&BK; appearance rubbed off more than anyone thought), plus a few remaining Maiden riffs, into a thoroughly enjoyable platter. People balk at the lack of originality, a sameness they've heard before. Who cares, Wolf recalls the innocent days, when metal was about fun. Who else would make the front cover of the CD booklet a leather jacket emblazoned with the band's logo and the back cover of the booklet be the front of the same jacket, complete with Wolf pin? They're all about having a good time! The Peter Tagtgren production has smoothed a few of the rough edges and apart from the adrenaline rush of a guitar break towards the conclusion of 'Devil Moon', the subdued track is as close as they've come to writing a ballad. On said track, Niklas Olsson puts aside the high-pitched yelp, in favour of actual singing, but it's the six minute, guitar-filled title track, a lively 'American Storm' and 'Out Of Still Midnight' which people pay to hear. The closing cover tune, Blue Oyster Cult's 'Don't Fear The Reaper' (according to the band, a lesser known track in Europe), rings a little hollow (especially having heard that at least one record co. employee suggested Heart's 'Barracuda', a chugging riff probably better suited for Wolf). Regardless, there's plenty of new material to stand aside live favourites, and with an impending domestic release (finally!) through Prosthetic, more will catch the scent. Howl!