Wolf (Massacred) 1999/2005
1. "In the Shadow
of Steel" (1:43)
Wolf is a band I didn't discover until about their third CD. I picked up "Evil Star" and went backwards through their catalog. "Evil Star" and "Black Wings" are both spectacular, galloping, heavy metal. However, I wasn't expecting the self-titled to stand up to those two albums because of the fact that it was an independent recording. However, I was wrong. Wolf's debut is every bit as good as the follow-up CDs. Recalling the glory days of Iron Maiden and Manowar, this album is chock full of metal passion. The songs are memorable, well written, melodic, yet heavy, and well played. Indeed, they hold their metal banner high and don't care to live in trends. Vocalist Niklas has a smooth, high voice that works well and gives the band their own unique stamp. There are several songs that have some very obvious influences. The first and most obvious is Iron Maiden, but then what traditional heavy metal band isn't influenced by Maiden? The jam in the middle of "In the Eyes of the Sun" has a Thin Lizzy vibe to it with those dual guitar harmonies. Overall, however, Wolf have managed to create a high quality classic metal album that is quite uniquely Wolf.
My copy is the remastered Massacre Records version, which also features new cover art. The track number 3 "The Parasite" is missing in the back cover track list and the booklet of the remaster, but the song is on the album itself
Wolf - Black Wings (Prosthetic) 2002
1. "Night Stalker"
Wolf are one of those band who fly that old school heavy metal banner high and proud. There are no ballads here, nor is there anything I would describe as progressive. Wolf also steer clear of the modern power metal sound, even though some may still label them as such. "Black Wings" is just quality, authentic, heavy metal. The songs here much in common with bands like Sword, Dio, Metal Church and Mercyful Fate. The last one is a no brainer, as "A Dangerous Meeting" is a cover of the Mercyful Fate classic. "Venom" in particular has a 70's Judas Priest vibe to it. As well, Wolf have a definite NWOBHM influence, especially in the guitar riffs. Niklas Olsson’s voice is unique and will probably be an acquired taste for most. I tend to like unique voices, I enjoy Olsson's high vocal stylings. Wolf may not be the next big thing to come along, but for those longing for some new traditional metal, Wolf will more than satisfy.
Wolf - Evil Star (Prosthetic Records) 2004
1. "Evil Star"
I have to admit, with the sea of power metal bands I have received in the past couple years, many of them have bored me. They all pretty much sound the same. It seems that heavy metal has lost the 'fun' element and has been replaced with a new attitude of proving how technical or classically influenced the bands have become. I was sort of worried that Wolf would fall into this same category, but had read a few reviews that peaked my interest. Thanks to LaLa.com, I was able to check this band out for a reasonable price ($1.75). Wolf are not your typical power metal band. Actually, I wouldn't describe Wolf as power metal at all. Wolf have more in common with the early 80's NWOBHM scene and traditional heavy metal than they do what is currently called power metal. Without knowing much about the band's history, I'd be willing to be that some of the bands influences are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Saxon and Diamond Head. Wolf are flying that 1980's heavy metal banner high and proud. There are lots of simplistic guitar riffs and solos, all of which are well executed. At times they have as sound almost reminiscent of early Maiden, although Niklas Olsson's vocals keep them miles from sounding like a Maiden clone. His voice is high, clean and has a charisma, somewhat like Joachim Cans of Hammerfall. Basically he has one of those love 'em or hate 'em styles that some metalhead will snear at, while others will love. Something must also be said of the production, as I think it has a huge part to do with the overall good feel of this disc. Peter Tagtgren has done an outstanding job of capturing this band's classic metal sound without the overall disc sounding dated. Included in this U.S. release is three cover tracks. “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper" is a an ultra-cool Blue Oyster Cult cover. Wolf’s version of Slayer's "Die By The Sword” is outstanding. While the BOC track sticks pretty close to the original formula, the band takes more liberties with Slayer, making the song their own. The final track is a Ramones cover.
Wolf - Ravenous (Century Media) 2009