Death Wolf: Death Wolf

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Death Wolf: Death Wolf
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Death Wolf: Death Wolf
Crust Punk, Hard Rock
Regain Records
May 31st, 2011
Release length: 48:10
Myspace
Death Wolf is actually far from a new band. The group originally formed under the name Devil’s Whorehouse, a Death ‘n Roll band featuring Marduk guitarist Morgan HÃ¥kansson. The group formed back in 2000, and took hold of the whole Death ‘n Roll movement before it seemed to die by the hands of Six Feet Under, and even then continued on with it’s quest to perform really dirty Rock-based insantiy throughout the years. But, with a new name, there also comes a new approach to the style of music being performed, and with their self-titled debut under this monicker, it’s obvious the band has a whole new identity that seperates itself quite dramatically from their previous existence.

Musically, there’s still a slight Death ‘n Roll sound to it, but it’s very small. Much of Death Wolf is a nice compisition of Hard Rock and Punk, sort of in the veins of the band Amen. The overall sound of the recording is pretty clear, but just has that dirty, Crust Punk-like vibe to it, especially with some of the faster-paced material that adorns this album. This becomes a good chunk of the material, but some of the slower tracks can have a more brutal vibe to them along the lines of the group’s old Death Metal inspired inerpretations of Rock, but it’s more with the general atmosphere, and these songs essentially become night and day with the rest of the release. “Circle of Abomination” becomes a loud, dirty Hard Rock meets Punk assault on the listener, hammering away with great speed and intensity, while “Morning Czar Shineth” takes a much slower and burdening feel to the music, having a decent brutal vibe, though the song seems to depart from the Amen-like sound for a more Danzig fueled melancholic performance.

And with that summary comes the main issue behind this album. While Death Wolf clearly have a new persona with this new name, the music is in no way new or unique, or even original. The heavier, faster songs literally sound like Amen, but without the more enthusiastic screaming, giving way for a back of the throat stern yelling approach against very similar music. The slower tracks sound like Danzig, but maybe with a slightly slower approach. That’s literally the entire album. This isn’t to say the songs are bad in any way, in fact they are pretty good at times. Aside the highlighted “Circle of Abomination” and “Morning Czar Shineth”, the song “Sword and Flame” has a strong Punk approach with the catchy stern vocal approach against Hard Rock riddled Punk music that also has clean vocals at time, all harmonzied well to create a song that is as punishing as it is catchy. “Wolfs Pallis Sister” stands out as one of the longest tracks, and has a more traditional Rock vibe to the music, more along the lines of a modern Rock or Alternative Rock song, especially with the clean vocals included in the chorus, and for the time it has it’s a good song, but the music will become a little repetitive after the first three minutes.

But, those two tracks that stand out also show a little more diversity to the music from the aforementioned two bands the songs sound remarkably like. While “Wolfs Pallid Sister” stands out, it’s also not the most unique, as you can sit down and hear traces of bands like Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains to the slower paced Rock music. “Ramsvart”, however, moves at a much slower pace with a general Rock approach to the music, coming out with a strong Death n’ Roll vibe from start to finish, though it feels more like an intermission, which is pretty rough since it becomes one of the most unique tracks on the recording, even next to “Sword and Flame”, which uses some clean vocals in the chorus to try to seperate itself from the Amen similarities, and it does it nicely despite it being a small change. This is about the time the album does start to hint towards some unique sounds. “Unto Dying Eyes”, for example, shows off a stronger slower-paced Black Metal composition that doesn’t appear anywhere else, and really has a catchy presence that is both dark and emotional, leaving behind the dirtiness of the Crust Punk sound moreso since it doesn’t really appear on the slower entries of this recording. But, with “Unto Dying Eyes”, the more unique elements of the recording come to a stop for a brief period, leaving “Dawn of Flesh” to close the album with an out of nowhere Grindcore presence that hammers away with pure intensity from start to finish while still holding on to the crusty Punk sound, but again it’s nothing original and reeks of Napalm Death.

So, Death Wolf had it’s name changed from Devil’s Whorehouse, and their debut recording Death Wolf is not that unique or original at all. With only a handful of songs that show any real presence of Death Wolf being it’s own entity, much of the album sounds like one of two bands specifically mentioned above. But, despite it being a carbon copy act, the songs at least are performed well and often have some great energy behind them that shows some great dedication and passion towards the music they are playing, making it an album that’s far from bad and, overall, still has some catchy and punishing tracks worth checking out if you enjoy Amen or Danzig. But, by the end of the album, chances are good it won’t make you want to relive the release again right away, but rather go and throw in an album by one of those two bands instead.

01. Circle of Abomination – 3:50
02. Weaving Death – 1:17
03. The Other Hell – 3:36
04. Morning Czar Shineth – 5:18
05. Ironwood – 3:41
06. Sword and Flame – 2:23
07. Wolfs Pallid Sister – 5:27
08. Ramsvart – 1:47
09. Unto Dying Eyes – 5:01
10. Black Mark – 1:41
11. Coming Forth by Night – 5:56
12. Dawn of Flesh – 1:22
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Death Wolf (band)
Digital review copy of this release provided by Regain Records via Earsplit PR.