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Review: Lycanthro - Mark of the Wolf
Mark of the Wolf

Label: Alone Records
Year released: 2021
Duration: 43:03
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: May 7, 2021
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.1/5 (82%) (10 Votes)

It looks like Ottawa's own Lycanthro finally had time to sit down to get a full-length out now that they're not busy opening for almost every metal tour visiting us! Because... there are no tours. Something good had to come out of this pandemic, right? For those not in the know, Lycanthro have been a staple at metal shows in Ottawa for the past few years, and I could go as far as to say that they've upstaged a couple of headliners as far as I'm concerned.

So, after a demo and a 4-track EP, we finally get a full album. I've been seeing frontman James Delbridge post stuff on Facebook these past couple of years and wondering, "what the hell are they up to with that?" The answer is that they were preparing a very diverse array of songs that take the listener on a rollercoaster ride of heavy/power metal goodness. Classical guitar, choir, piano, rockers, borderline ballads—the works. Long story short, it mostly works: there's no way to get bored with this album, but the very varied approach sometimes threw me off a little bit, though I think a slightly different track order could help take care of that (I'm too lazy to try that). The album ends on a power balled and that always throws me off as an album ending. Your mileage may vary.

There are a few songs that were released that have been rerecorded for the album: "Crucible", "Into Oblivion" and "Ride the Dragon,"so if you've heard their previous material, you're in familiar territory. Overall, the album is very much in the vein of what the band has been doing so far: catchy, hard-hitting, crunchy heavy/power metal with really cool guitar work and James' vocals always invite you to sing along. Mostly traditional heavy metal deeply rooted in the '80s, but with a modern approach that gives it a bit of polish and some hints of power metal and some subtle thrash here and there. But the band went a little farther this time around, throwing in stuff like piano and classical guitars but, most noteworthy, a full freakin' choir on the epic "Fallen Angels Prayer." I did not see that one coming when I first put the album on, and it really stands out and is a favourite of mine with the powerful vocal work. Somehow, I don't think they'll bring on the choir in a live setting? Or maybe they will, if only to celebrate the end of the pandemic? (hint, hint... ;))

Mark of the Wolf is filled with mostly catchy heavy metal (good luck trying to get "In Metal We Trust" out of your head after hearing it once) that gets the listener break out the air guitar and air drums and sing along almost from beginning to end. Fans of '80s heavy metal and modern power metal that's not over the top should definitely find something to like on Mark of the Wolf.

More about Lycanthro...
Review: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Lycanthro (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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