Wolf - "Devil Seed" (CD)
"Devil Seed" track listing:
1. Overture in C Shark
2. Shark Attack
3. Skeleton Woman
4. Surgeons Of Lobotomy
5. My Demon
6. I Am Pain
7. Back From The Grave
8. The Dark Passenger
9. River Everlost
11. Killing Floor
Reviewed by CROMCarl on August 28, 2014
Sweden certainly has all the metal bases covered, having solidified epic doom (Candlemass, Avatarium), death metal (Unleashed, Dismember, Entombed), melodic death metal (At the Gates, Dark Tranquility), and power metal (Sabaton, HammerFall). Flying the Svenska Flaggan for pure traditional for the last 19 years has been the metal beast Wolf. The group may not be as well-known globally, but it really should be. Since the self-titled debut album was issued in 1999, few traditional bands have put out such consistently phenomenal material as this quartet. While in recent years the speedier part of the band that was a little more prevalent on releases like “Wolf.” “Black Wings” and “Evil Star” has given way to more mid-paced material, the band has never lost a step in terms of absolute power, catchy melodies, and bad ass solos. “Devil Seed” is another solid release in that long tradition. Though it may need a little time to gestate, “Devil Seed” will quickly grow and take over your stereo leaving you muttering “ROWWWW…..ROWWWW” (you’ll know it when you hear it).
Outside of “Shark Attack,” “Demon Seed” won’t knock you out with its speed. Similar to its predecessor “Legions of Bastards,” the instant release will slowly wrap around you like a flexing python and squeeze while granulating your mind with sharpened riffs in tracks like “Surgeons of Lobotomy” and “The Dark Passenger.” The guitar mastery at work has much more distinctive grind, notwithstanding phenomenal solos that fly much higher, courtesy of vocalist/guitarist Niklas Stalvind and the band’s new master Simon Johansson (Bibleblack/Memory Garden), who makes his studio debut since joining in 2011 after the release of “Bastards.”
I’m not sure if it is an odd coincidence, but I have always looked at Wolf as Sweden’s answer to Accept – a pure bred metallic onslaught with no additives, where songs were guitar driven and in your face. Perhaps it is the soulful guitar solos that are very much in the vein of another Wolf…..Hoffmann. The comparison ends there though, as Wolf (the band) has its own distinct sound (especially Niklas’ vocals). It does say a tremendous amount about a band though when you can connect it with legends.
The pace of “Devil Seed” takes a little getting used to, but it is not as if Wolf has never had mid-paced songs before. In fact, that sort of pace has been growing predominant throughout the band’s back catalog as time moves on. Songs like “Skeleton Woman” (a grisly tale of a cannibalism and bone collecting), “The Dark Passenger,” and “I Am Pain” are fast growers, drawing the listener in with a little more depth, growth, and progression than the mid-paced movers from the band’s past. Album favorites include “Surgeons of Lobotomy,” “Killing Floor,” “Frozen,” and the fantastic “River Everlost.”
Where “Devil Seed” ends up in the annals of Wolf’s discography still remains to be determined. It is another solid release of pure metal that should be expected from one of Sweden’s finest. One thing is certain…Wolf continues to progress along a fine line, stays very true to it's established sound and never disappoints. It’s those fist pumping anthems that prove to be perfect in a live setting….and that truly is the “Devil Seed.”
Highs: Expertly played pure steel that stays true to tradition.
Lows: Not much for here for those seeking more progressive styles of metal.
Bottom line: With just a little "gestation," Wolf's "Devil Seed" will grow on you with a metallic assault!
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