WOLF – Shadowland (2022)

WOLF - Shadowland (2022) full
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Since formed almost three decades ago, Swedes WOLF have been praised their love for classic metal, and carved out quite a respectable career in that time. They’ve got eight albums and multiple tours under their belts, and never deviated to modern trends.
Their upcoming new record “Shadowland” is an exemplary demonstration of traditional melodic metal: hese guys are dyed-in-the-wool old school metalheads of the denim and leather variety. It’s upbeat, crunchy and a lot of fun, but it also sounds like something your dad plays on the school run in the hope it impresses your mates.

These are songs with crystal-clear guitar solos, great melodies and a singer who’s more air-raid siren than man. From the opening riff to the closing moments of the album, ”Shadowland” is proper ‘dad metal’. You’ll cringe as your old man shouts “this rocks” while blasting it in a traffic jam.
WOLF are proud flag-wavers for traditional metal; DIO, SAXON, PRAYING MANTIS, ACCEPT, etc, and this is a really good old-fashioned, beer-drinking, hell-raising metal album that could have been recorded in the ’80s.

The opening track, ‘Dust’, starts the record at a frantic pace, a real fiery driving song that segues nicely into another strong track in ‘Visions Of The Blind’. Whilst Wolf has a tried and trusted formula, there is plenty of variation across the album to maintain the interest.
The title track has an epic feel in the style that Dio would have been pleased to have penned, a lovely switch on the chorus leaving a lingering memory that lasts for ages.
There’s some interesting wordplay on ‘The Ill-Fated Mr Mordrake’, another headbanger of a tune, and then we arrive at ‘Rasputin’, which smoulders with mysticism. It’s not the first time that the mad monk has been the topic of a Metal song, but Wolf has conjured up a song full of darkness and mystery.

‘Into The Black Hole’ is catchy as hell, and ‘Evil Lives’ is a hugely entertaining throwback. Had it come out a few decades earlier, it could easily have appeared on the Wayne’s World soundtrack.
That lead us to the triumphant finale – ‘Trial by Fire’, listed as a bonus track but not a filler; it’s one of the most anthemic and gloriously meaty songs on the whole release.

Wolf do what they do without fuss or flamboyance, but they do it incredibly well. If traditional, classic melodic metal / hard n’ heavy is your thing, I’m assuming Wolf will be on your radar.
If not, then ”Shadowland” is an album that should be your gateway to a band that carry the genre’s flag proudly and doesn’t always get the recognition they deserve.
Highly Recommended

 

01 – Dust
02 – Visions for the Blind
03 – The Time Machine
04 – Evil Lives
05 – Seek the Silence
06 – Shadowland
07 – The Ill-fated Mr. Mordrake
08 – Rasputin
09 – Exit Sign
10 – Into the Black Hole
11 – Trial by Fire (Bonus Track)

Niklas Stålvind – vocals, guitar
Simon Johansson – guitar
Pontus Egberg – bass
Johan Koleberg – drums

 

Pre Order:
www.ziarecords.com/p/13509159/wolf-shadowland

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