|Review: WAN - Wolves of the North|
|Wolves of the North|
Label: Abyss Records
Year released: 2010
Review online: November 2, 2010
Reviewed by: Nahsil
for:Wolves of the North
Rated 3.13/5 (62.5%) (8 Votes)
The place: Sweden. The music: primitive, thrashy black metal. One can expect faster tempos interspersed with slower, more lumbering Hellhammer-devilations (this was a typo for deviations, decided to let it stand), and a thin, treble-heavy production; an obvious drum machine pounds away in the background. For what it is, it's competently performed. The riffs are scattered in quality, ranging from forgettable, token examples of black/thrash guitar craftsmanship to some more memorable ones that Hellhammer themselves might have written. That may sound like high praise, but one of the ways in which Hellhammer are so revered is with respect to historical context. I have no problem in principle with bands wanting to pay tribute to styles they enjoy, but it's 2010, and black/thrash of this variety is not a new or unexplored phenomenon. To be fair, many bands have striven toward similar goals as WAN and ultimately fallen further away from accomplishing anything of lasting relevance. To its credit,Wolves of the North does not merely go through motions, but at the same time, one isn't likely to hear this and walk away a different person, and nor is the music particularly inventive.
I will emphasize, however, the presence of some very tight and headbangable riffs, such as those found on "Rise of the Antichrist" and "War of the Unholy." The lead guitar is also sometimes noteworthy, whether it's throwing a little melody into a riff or stealing the spotlight for a short solo. The scratchy vocal performance is appropriate, if typical. In fact that describes much of the album: to be expected. That doesn't necessarily entail poor quality, but Wolves of the North falls strictly into the pedestrian camp of "hmm, yeah, not bad."
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