WOLF - The Black Flame
October 6, 2006, 13 years ago
Are they retro-minded or just paying homage? Who cares! On their fourth album, the Swedes are once again out to have a good time, playing traditional heavy metal, with some obvious nods to ‘70s stadium rock and the twin leads of Iron Maiden (‘The Bite’ and ‘Demon’). Some were disappointed by the more polished Evil Star. No such problems here. Lyrical themes hover around the macabre: unrepentant jailhouse killer (opening ‘I Will Kill Again’), vampires, and all manner of things that go bump in the night, be they supernatural or terrestrial. Wolf are best on fist-pumping anthems like the kick-off number, the behind-the-wheel mayhem of ‘Steelwinged Savage Reaper’ or the closer, ‘Children Of The Black Flame’. While most of the music possesses a certain familiarity and comfort level, the same can’t be said of ‘Seize The Light’, in terms of the atypical, dreamy guitar break and the lyrical departure (“The wolves are on the prowl tonight. Let’s steal what we can and leave behind a wasteland. Seize the light”). Step forward, into the past.