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Review: Wolf - Legions of Bastards
Legions of Bastards

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 52:32
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: June 4, 2011
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating
Legions of Bastards

Rated 4.05/5 (80.91%) (22 Votes)

Lucky album #6 from venerable Swedes Wolf proves to be another corker. After their breakout The Black Flame album, the band started to get better and better press, even though they failed to follow up with a suitable sequel. Their last album Ravenous was good, but was hampered by a lack of really driving and powerful choruses - the songs built up some good steam but then pittered out when the more restrained, Euro-power-esque choruses hit. That's why I'm so very delighted to hear this album. This time Wolf are fueled by the power of old Sabbath, Motorhead and probably lots of booze and drugs to create what is perhaps their most old school, pugilistic album to date. Legions of Bastards just kicks ASS.

I really dig the simpler, stripped down feel of this. Piling on more time changes and multi-layered vocals is cool too, but sometimes all you need to kick ass is a good, gravelly riff or two and a shouted song title for the chorus, and that's the aesthetic this album works on. Opener "Vicious Companions" rips and snarls through the speakers like a hungry hyena, and then you get killers like "Skull Crusher," "Tales from the Crypt," the dirge of "Nocturnal Rites" and the curb-stomping goodness of "Road to Hell," which possesses a smoldering steel rhythm that will just destroy you from the inside out. Some of the second half of the album falters a bit, as most Wolf albums do, but they come back strong with the super-cool "K-141 Kursk," which is the most epic song on this thing. Every tune packs a mean attitude and a dirty, nasty set of riffs, and the pronounced Sabbath and Motorhead stylings just add a whole new layer of awesome to the proceedings. The production is sharper and heavier than last time out, and every song hits like a ten-ton anvil.

Legions of Bastards will rock your world. In the past, Wolf albums (aside from The Black Flame) were always good, but never great - this album is great, and their second best work next to the aforementioned 2006 album. With the attitude, the riffs, the choruses and the old-school metal street cred, Wolf catapult themselves into the first rank yet again. Let's hope the next one's even better.

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