FIREWÖLFE - Conquer All Fear
February 24, 2022, 5 months ago
Although former Q5 guitarist Nick Layton issued this outfit's debut a decade ago, their third effort features a completely reworked line-up, with plenty of Pacific Northwest scene veterans (TKO, Heir Apparent, Pamela Moore, Presto Ballet), churning out quality US metal. The grass is always greener on the other side of the pasture/fence, which means FireWölfe will be embraced in Europe (especially by denizens of events like Keep It True and Up The Hammers), while virtually ignored at home. That said, don't expect them to uproot their families, livelihoods and current lifestyle to undertake a North American tour. No, any chance of hearing these ten songs live will probably be reserved for attendees at said boutique festivals.
Residing comfortably with the hard rock/melodic metal end of the spectrum, smooth throated vocalist Freddy Krumins sang on Fifth Angel guitarist James Byrd's excellent, but one-and-done Atlantis Rising (1990). The members' past pedigree offers a touchstone to the music herein. Still, there are a few speedy, heavy hitters mixed in. Gritty opener "Vicious As The Viper" (one of four videos available online!) sets the table. The fastest overall, aptly named "Pedal To Metal" follows. With a winding, almost Middle Eastern feel and howl of their namesake, the title cut settles into a slower crawl.
"Swallow My Pride", about getting a second bite at the apple, has an ‘80s hair metal vibe, albeit with legit guitar, not the watered down saccharine variety. In fact, at times Krumins reminds one of ex-Samson belter Nicky Moore, especially on said tune. At #5, time for a full-blown ballad. Enter "Candle In The Dark". Drum barrage kicks off "Wages Of Sin", the initial part of the so-called Evil Eye Trilogy, the other chapters appear consecutively. All are adequate meat and potatoes heavy metal, although the culminating "Keep The Hounds At Bay" is the heaviest of the trio, thanks again to a punishing cannonade of percussion.
More of a grooving stripper strut, "Magic (In Your Mind)" is an anomaly, while "Method To The Madness" finale goes out in another aggro blaze of glory.
Welcome another member to the growing Wölfe pack.